Why Congress must pass the COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal before their summer recess. 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.
We’re only at the beginning
Though lockdowns have justifiably skewed our sense of time, our nation’s public health emergency is just beginning, and the cascading economic crises and weakening of our democratic values threaten our ability to recover quickly and save lives.
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 this needs to be done in a way that prioritizes justice and the needs of all Americans.
Creating a new deal for the people
It’s become clear that Americans cannot count on their national leaders to make coherent, evidence-based decisions that prioritize human lives and health. That’s 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.
As Rutgers professor Phil Harvey, co-chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, explains, “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 increase risk substantially for our most vulnerable populations: Latinos, African Americans, immigrants, incarcerated people, and the poor, elderly, and homeless.”
“As we move to reopen our society, we must ensure that we are saving as many lives as possible while reversing the waves of joblessness, hunger, and homelessness that are sweeping over our country. We must ensure the rebirth of America,” Harvey adds.
Funding allocated for America’s COVID-19 response recovery should support people, not greed-driven corporations. 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.