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On the Issues: COVID-19

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has showcased a lack of leadership at the federal level—which has cost tens of thousands of lives, and thrown our local economies into upheaval. At a time when our leaders in congress and in the White House should’ve been warning us and following established and proven guidelines to protect public health, they were instead waving away the oncoming crisis and labeling the pandemic a hoax. We need honest, accountable leadership to help navigate us out of this public health crisis and to help recover and restart our economy.

We need a robust posture on healthcare, with the scaling up of testing being of utmost importance. It is wide scale testing that will effectively restart the economy, short of a COVID-19 vaccine. We must also use regular testing to ensure that front line essential workers are safe and not contagious. By using testing scientifically in the rest of the population, we can effectively trace the spread of the virus to kill off transmission lines. We must utilize the Defense Production Act to manufacture the equipment we desperately need, we have got to protect medical professionals and patients. Congress must step in and address this crisis.

We must also ensure that essential supply chains continue to flow—food, medicine, health care, masks, protective equipment, etc. The federal government must be able to step in to assist with these vital chains if the states are unable to.

The federal government must also ensure that workers and small businesses are protected. That means continuing to pass legislation that will protect paychecks and ensure that workers are not forced to go into workplaces where they may be at risk of spreading or contracting the virus.

Only once we have mass testing and scaled contact tracing, can we begin to relax lock down measures. This will ensure that those being released into labor markets are safe and healthy.

It is imperative that we support workers on the frontline of this crisis, in hospitals and grocery stores and warehouses all across America. They need a living wage, hazard pay, and paid sick time off. They need personal protective equipment. They need the federal government to do its job.