People’s Movements Call for the Rebirth of America

MEDIA Contact
Dr. Paul Zeitz
drpaulzeitz@gmail.com
+1-202-365-6786

People’s Movements Call for the Rebirth of America

Demands Congress Pass the “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal”

(Washington, 11 May 2020)  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United States, and tens of thousands of lives are at imminent risk. Thus far, the Federal government’s response has been nothing less than a catastrophic failure of short-sighted inaction–despite the multi-trillion-dollar investments made so far.

Dr, Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of Build A Movement 2020 and Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, stated: “The public health emergency is just beginning, and the cascading economic crises and the weakening of our democratic values threaten our ability to save lives and recover quickly. Understandably, American workers and employers are anxious to get back to work, and many politically driven pundits are telling leaders it’s time to pull the switch that will turn on the economy once more. But it needs to be done in a way that prioritizes justice and the needs of all Americans.”

It has become clear that Americans cannot count on their national leaders to make coherent, evidence-based decisions that prioritize human lives and health over the economy. That is why Build A Movement 2020 and the partners of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group are advocating for Congress to immediately pass the “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal Act” before the summer recess.

Professor Phil Harvey, Rutgers University and Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, stated, “The COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal” positions economic recovery plans around saving lives and livelihoods, and it addresses the racial, ethnic and social disparities that put at highest risk our most vulnerable populations: Latinos, African Americans, immigrants, incarcerated people, the poor elderly and the homeless.  As we move to open our society, we must ensure that we are saving as many lives as possible while reversing the wave of joblessness, hunger and homelessness that is sweeping over our country and ensure the rebirth of America.”

Funding allocated for America’s COVID-19 response recovery should support people, not greed-driven profits. Focusing on opening American businesses quickly at the expense of human health will cause a devastating second wave of infections that will cost both lives and treasure.

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Build A Movement 2020 is a newly forming political movement that connects political parties, movements, coalitions, organizations, and individuals to solve the existential threats facing humanity. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group was formed in March 2020 to mobilize people’s voice to save as many lives as possible.

People Demand Action To Save Lives & Prevent Second Wave Of Death

CONTACT:

Dr. Paul Zeitz
drpaulzeitz@gmail.com
+1-202-365-6786

Launch of National Peoples’ Mobilization Calls for “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal” Requires Putting People First, Not Profits

(April 24, 2020, Washington, DC) With the unnecessary death of over 50,000 Americans and many thousands more predicted to die, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group launched a national peoples’ mobilization today to demand that our political leaders prioritize saving as many lives as possible and take action to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 deaths.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group calls on Congress to urgently approve a comprehensive package of health and social measures that must address the racial and ethnic disparities that make Latinos and African-Americans more vulnerable, and the needs of immigrants, incarcerated people, and the homeless. Leaders call for the immediate passage of a “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal” as part of the next COVID-19 stimulus package to protect, test, and treat:

  1. Effective Public Health Response: rapid implementation of the National COVID-19 Containment Program for Rapid Testing, Contact Tracing, & Isolation; All health providers and essential employees must be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that they can prevent COVID-19 infection.

  2. Urgent Services for the People: Emergency hunger prevention by expanding food stamps through SNAP; emergency rental assistance by providing $100 billion of emergency funding; urgent nationwide moratorium on shutoff of water, electricity, and broadband services, and they receive free COVID-19 emergency medical services;

  3. Emergency Support to Cities and Local Governments: At least $500 billion is needed to enable cities and local governments to maintain services and create jobs by prioritizing renewable energy and sustainability as part of the American economic recovery.

Statements from Leaders:

Dennis Kucinich, Former Member of Congress: “As governments move to protect Wall Street and financial systems from collapse, so, too, must they move to protect Main Street and social systems, to provide money, health care, food, and all those things which protect people.”

Professor Elizabeth Kucinich, Regenerative Systems Consultant, documentary filmmaker: “If we have learned anything from this current COVID-19 crisis it is that each of us is interconnected and interdependent. What happens to one affects all. It is imperative that local, state and federal policies address the needs of everyone. An inclusive  approach to food security, healthcare, economic well being, and access to communications for all is imperative for the vitality of our nation. To ignore our most vulnerable populations would be suicide.”

Mustafa Ali, former Senior EPA Official & former senior advisor to President Obama, Environmental Justice leader: “Communities of color, lower-wealth communities and indigenous peoples continue to be the sacrifice zones where they are hit first and worst from pollution, climate change and now COVID-19. We must move our most vulnerable communities from surviving to thriving-and we can do it together as a beloved community.”

Domingo Garcia, President of LULAC: “Latinos in the United States will not be left out or left behind in the COVID-19 recovery and LULAC is fighting daily to make sure that doesn’t happen. From our food supply to manufacturing and every industry sector in the nation, the hands and backbone of Juan and Maria have helped to make it happen. All Americans need to wake-up and understand that a worker who becomes sick and doesn’t have access to health care to get better affects all of us. If there’s one thing the coronavirus is reminding us, it is that we are all connected and the recovery must include the 60-million Latinos in our country.  Our businesses represent the fastest growing sector in the economy and they are being left out. This is unacceptable to LULAC and we are determined to change it.”

Mayor Jennifer Roberts, former Mayor of Charlotte, NC: “We need more stimulus funds to go directly to our cities and counties. They are on the front lines for public health, housing, small business, and other needs, and thousands of cities are facing budget shortfalls that will result in service reduction – in areas like public safety – without direct federal assistance.”

Jean Su, Energy Justice Program Director and an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, based in Washington, D.C.: “It’s deeply disappointing that this past Congressional package failed to include a moratorium on shutoffs of electricity, water and broadband services during this pandemic. Nearly forty percent of America is not covered by any state-mandated moratorium on power shutoffs, leaving millions of families unprotected and vulnerable to crippling debt. People’s needs shouldn’t be sacrificed for corporate balance sheets, and we’ll keep fighting to make sure this basic safeguard is in the next legislative package.”

Dr. Walter Tsou, former Commissioner of Health, Philadelphia & former President of the American Public Health Association:  “Opening without a plan will not only cost lives, it will prolong the wave of joblessness, hunger and homelessness that is sweeping over our country. Just the act of gathering in crowds, which violates all social distancing rules, is turning the clock of recovery backwards.”

Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of Build A Movement 2020 & Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group: “Congress took an important step in providing $25 billion for a national testing strategy. Implementation must focus on a robust COVID-19 containment program for people living in nursing homes, the homeless, imprisoned people, and African-America and Latinos who are the most vulnerable populations.”

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group was formed in March 2020 by leading public health experts, faith and business leaders, current & former senior Congressional Hill staffers, current and former local and state elected officials, and leaders of global, national and local NGOs. Our mission is to support others in mobilizing the people’s voice to save as many lives as possible.

Congress Must Approve “Saving Peoples’ Lives Act of 2020”

People Demand Bold Action to Save Lives
and Prevent Second Wave of COVID-19 Infections

Congress Must Approve “Saving Peoples’ Lives Act of 2020” 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dr. Paul Zeitz
drpaulzeitz@gmail.com
+1-202-365-6786

(14 April 2020, Washington, DC) Social distancing is saving lives. But our national leaders, impatient to get Americans back to work, are sending messages that undermine on-the-ground health and safety recommendations that state governors, mayors and local health departments are urging.

Americans cannot count on their national leaders to make decisions that prioritize human lives and health over the economy. Everyday citizens must come off the sidelines, raise their voices and create the health-first policies that can keep our families and communities safe from COVID-19. 

To stop the spread of COVID-19, and to manage the next wave of infections certain to come, we must demand extending federal stay-at-home guidelines through May 31, 2020 at minimum, and an aggressive campaign to put in place national testing, tracking, isolation and containment (TTIC) capabilities. Quite simply, we can’t let people return to work until we identify and isolate infected people; we can’t isolate infected people until we identify them; and we can’t identify them until they are tested. 

The newly formed COVID-19 Emergency Response Group aims to give concerned Americans a voice in shaping the Trump Administration’s and the world’s response to this unprecedented health emergency.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, made up of leading public health experts, faith and business leaders, former senior Congressional and legislative staffers, local and state elected officials, and leaders of national NGOs, will help draft federal legislation, support smart existing legislation, lobby the United Nations, and advocate for governments around the world. 

The passage of the “Saving Peoples’ Lives Act of 2020 is a set of bold of measures that must be included in the next COVID-19 legislative package now being considered in Congress:  

  • Pushing for urgent investment in a robust program of TTIC: testing, tracking, isolation and containment capabilities, to be implemented over the next months, with full federal funding for health departments and agencies at the state, county, and municipal levels
  • Addressing racial and ethnic disparities that make Latinos and African-Americans more vulnerable, including immigrants, incarcerated people, and the homeless.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD & READ SAVING PEOPLE’S LIVES ACT 2020

Statements from Leaders in the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group

Jeffrey Sachs, professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University: “We are still far from any coherent national plan. It’s only the governors and mayors who are scrambling and who are consulting the experts in their public health systems, universities, and other scientific institutions. What would be in such a national plan? It’s obvious and I’ve outlined it before. We would be contacting symptomatic individuals and quickly isolating them. We would be tracing their contacts and testing them too. We would be using phone apps and online registries to support the tracing, testing, and isolation processes. We would be screening the public for symptoms in bus and train stations, airports, and other public places. We would be wearing face masks in public, and be using hand sanitizers relentlessly. Our goal would be to identify and isolate potential COVID-19 cases as early and quickly as possible through standard public health measures that should have been used from the start but were not. We would be doing, in short, what the Asian countries have been doing to control the epidemic.”

Jennifer Roberts, former Mayor of Charlotte, N.C.: “Local government has responded bravely to the COVID-19 pandemic—more bravely than our national leaders. Cities and states have led the way in mandating social distancing, supporting healthcare infrastructure, and ordering non-essential businesses to close temporarily. This is painful but necessary if we are to avoid an even greater loss of life and business when the virus resurges. As we wait for new treatments and ultimately a vaccine, we must remember: Economies recover. Deceased loved ones do not.”

Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President: “Across the United States, black and Hispanic people suffer disproportionately from poverty, poor health care and chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Now the data, when it is available, shows that black and Hispanic Americans are dying of the coronavirus disease at rates far higher than white Americans. Latinos are on the front lines in the COVID-19 crisis, continuing to go to work and putting themselves at risk to keep their jobs. LULAC is calling for Latinos to be a part of the testing pool for new COVID-19 vaccines under development, as well as have access to emergency paid sick leave, expanded unemployment insurance and free testing and treatment.”

Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of Build A Movement 2020 and Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group: “We call for the urgent inclusion of the Saving Peoples’ Lives Act” in the stimulus package being negotiated by Congress right now.   For a $20 billion investment, we can ensure that people can get tested in most communities, and when they are tested, they can receive results quickly, their contacts can be traced, and all infected people can be isolated.  Americans can mobilize right now to save as many lives as possible and end the COVID19 pandemic. And if we don’t talk this necessary action, many thousands more Americans will die, and the damage to our economy will be more long-lasting.”

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group was formed in March 2020 by leading public health experts, faith and business leaders, former senior Congressional Hill staffers, current and former local and state elected officials, and leaders of global, national and local NGOs. Our mission is to support others in mobilizing the people’s voice to save as many lives as possible.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Forum

Today, Friday, April 10th
1:00 – 2:30 PM EST / 12:00 – 1:30 PM CST
Watch The Meeting Recording

PROGRAM

A Conversation on the COVID-19 Crisis. Its impact on the Latino community, an overview of the government response and next steps. Also, staying safe and healthy during the crisis. Plus, government relief programs available to affected individuals and Latino small businesses.

Listen to expert speakers on the COVID-19 response and its impact on the Latino community. Be a part of the first national conversation on this crisis affecting Latino families across the nation.

 

Experts Recommend Restrictive Physical Distancing Orders During Religious Gatherings during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan

Experts Recommend Restrictive Physical Distancing Orders During
Religious Gatherings during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan
Evidence Proves Dangerous Transmission of COVID-19 in Religious Gatherings

(6 April 2020, Washington DC)  Mounting evidence demonstrates that the COVID-19 virus is rapidly being transmitted during religious gatherings in the USA where social distancing is not being implemented. 

The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, a member of the recently formed COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, released a policy brief,“Saving Lives Through Getting Religions on Board,” stating:

  • COVID-19 outbreaks in the USA and around the world are attributable to religious gatherings, featuring heavy singing, loud prayer, celebration, and mourning – all in close quarters. 
  • Evidence shows that religious gatherings are sparking COVID-19 transmission leading to increased illness, death, and transmission to religious community members by asymptomatic carriers. 
  • These outbreaks are occurring across every religious group in all parts of the USA and around the world. 

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group (a newly forming coalition of public health experts, academics, religious leaders, and civic organizations) is calling for urgent action by the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), governors, and religious leaders and denominations to implement and enforce social distancing orders during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission and save as many lives as possible:

  • Call on President Trump and Congress to implement a national shelter-in-home order during April 2020 to include religious gatherings;
  • Call on Governors of Ten States should remove exemptions and loopholes for religious gatherings in their social distancing orders: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin;
  • Call on Governors of Nine States should immediately implement shelter-in-home orders and include religious gatherings: South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, and North Dakota;
  • Call on political leaders and public health officials to mobilize religious leaders from all faiths to abide by shelter-in-home and restrictive social distancing orders during the April 2020 holidays of Easter, Passover, and Ramadan and encourage the use of technology to create virtual prayer and community experiences.

Leadership Statements:

Joel Segal, National Coordinator, COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, stated: “We can ill afford to lose one person to COVID-19, because every life is precious. We as a nation cannot rush to resume our normal lives at this point as it can result in many needless deaths. President Trump must carefully listen to our nation’s leading infectious disease specialists, including his senior advisors, and adhere to their suggested protocol of staying home unless you absolutely have to leave, including for religious gatherings.  

Rev. Dr. Rodney S. Sadler, Jr., Director, Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Union Presbyterian Seminary stated:
Fellowship is important, imperative for the Christian faith, particularly during the high holidays like Good Friday and Easter. Fellowship is fundamental to the core of the church, the ekklesia, for the “assembly” is what we are called. But during this time of CoVid 19 quarantine, we need to be careful with the other metaphor for the Church, the “body of Christ.”  Inasmuch as we are a body, this virus puts us all at risk. As one body, Paul reminds us to care for our weaker members. In this instance, those most vulnerable to infection, those most at risk of succumbing, often those core older of chronically infirm members of our congregations. 

During this period we should fellowship; but our fellowship should be virtual, employing the technology God has given us to protect the “weaker” members, so that the whole body remains whole. God stands with us in these perilous times. Whether in the building together or individually in our homes, God remains with us. The one who said “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” the one who said, “I am with you until the end of the age” is true. We do not have to worry, even as we protect Christ’s body in quarantine, the Lord is with us, still.  And after this period of intentional physical separation, just as Christ was resurrected, our communal fellowship will be as well. Of this we can be sure.”

Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, Professor at the Carter School, George Mason University stated: “Now is the time for all religious communities to embrace their common commitment to the absolute sacredness of every life, to embrace the heroic work of the medical community on the front lines, and to demonstrate their love for their communities by moving all ritual, social, celebratory and grieving expressions online exclusively.”

Dr. Paul Zeitz, physician epidemiologist, Co-Chair COVID-19 Emergency Response Group and Founder of Build A Movement 2020 stated: “Urgent action is needed to reduce COVID-19 transmission during April 2020. All religious leaders should urgently restrict and eliminate religious gatherings and implement virtual prayer experiences during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. Rigorous physical distancing can reduce COVID-19 transmission and literally save the lives of your community.”

The “COVID-19 Emergency Response Group” was formed in March 2020 by leading public health experts, faith and business leaders, former senior Congressional Hill staffers, local and state elected officials, and leaders of national NGOs. Our mission is to mobilize the citizen’s voice to save as many lives as possible.