It’s newsletter day — but instead of a full-blown newsletter, we want to talk about something that’s on everyone’s minds: the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization has officially classified the coronavirus as a pandemic, with over 200,000 cases around the world and an estimated 6000+ cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. So far the best advice on avoiding contracting or spreading the disease remains to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, stay home when you’re sick, and practice “social distancing.”
On Friday night, in response to the pandemic, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201). This package includes measures like making coronavirus testing free, implementing paid emergency medical leave, expanding unemployment insurance, and providing food assistance.
This bill is a start but its language around paid sick leave does not apply to large employers (something we know leaves a lot of working families out) so our work is not done yet.
But the Senate has yet to vote on the bill — and Senate Republicans have already been signaling their opposition. This is disgusting. Republicans are so caught up in protecting corporate profit margins that they’re unwilling to take basic and necessary steps to protect the health and safety of millions of vulnerable people nationwide.
Here’s your call to action:
We must demand they pass the House legislation without weakening it further, and continue to move on still needed responses and support in the upcoming economic stimulus package.
So right now, what we have to do is make sure the Senate passes this bill. The best way we can do that is to keep driving calls to senators’ offices, urging them to pass H.R.6201 as soon as they receive it.
You can click here to call — we’ll connect you directly with your senators’ offices. And please pass this message along to friends and loved ones so we can build as much pressure as possible.
We know a lot of folks are restless right now, with all the social distancing and a seemingly endless stream of confusing and scary news. We’re feeling it too. We hope that taking action on this incredibly important issue can help us all build a little bit of community in these times. And we know that if we all work together, we can have a real impact and make things better for ourselves and our neighbors.
Thanks for doing what you can to keep one another safe. While we might all be interrupting our daily lives and changing our habits, we can’t let up on holding our elected officials accountable — but remember to be gentle with yourself and others. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.