We believe that when our country pulls together there’s nothing we can’t accomplish--including beating back the threat of the coronavirus. We can and must ensure that essential workers have the protection, pay and leave they need and that all of us can support our families and have healthcare throughout this crisis and beyond--no matter who we are or the color of our skin. That’s why we’re demanding our elected leaders commit to:
- Protect the health and safety of all workers, no matter their race, immigration status, or employment status;
- Ensure job, wage, and economic security for all workers;
- Invest in public services, not big corporations;
- Invest in an economy and democracy that works for all of us.
What's at Stake
Instead, we are living through one of the most uncertain times in more than a century. The coronavirus has touched all of our lives. More than 6 million Americans have become infected and more than 190,000 have lost their lives needlessly. Millions have lost jobs, schools have closed, and all of us are worried about the future.
President Trump denied the seriousness of the pandemic – even as Americans became sick – and put millions of people at risk when he should have been preparing a response. Making matters worse, President Trump has consistently taken actions and pushed policies that show he’s prepared to rig every rule possible in favor of big corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working people--even in the midst of a crisis. President Trump and his administration:
- Have failed to supply frontline workers with the protective equipment we need. As a result, healthcare providers and others working on the front lines still do not have the masks, visors, gowns, and goggles we need to protect ourselves and our families.
- Didn’t start developing tests, even as the coronavirus devastated other countries, and has still failed to develop adequate testing capacity. Due to President Trump’s inaction, our country still does not have the capacity to administer the widespread testing critical to ease the way for Americans to go to school and work in the safest way possible.
- Have undermined the efforts of governors to protect us by encouraging protests of the stay-at-home orders his own administration recommended, and also undermined mask ordinances and best practices by politicizing masks.
- Have even promoted untested treatments with serious side effects, going so far as to suggest people consume dangerous chemicals.
- Claimed that the virus is under control, that his administration has “done a great job” and that the death toll “is what it is,” even as more than 1,000 Americans died of coronavirus daily--and in the same month that our country passed the 5 million mark in diagnosed cases.
- While Americans died and the economy crashed, “the wealth of America's billionaires actually increased by nearly 10% over just three weeks as the COVID-19 crisis took hold.”
- Have allowed businesses with ties to President Trump--including many with executives who have donated to his campaign-- to receive millions of dollars in coronavirus small business relief backed by the administration.
Times of national emergency require us all to move beyond business as usual. We need strong leadership and a functioning government informed by science and data to protect all workers, ensure our hospitals have the supplies they need, and ease the way for Americans to go back to school and work in the safest way possible.
Joe Biden has a plan to fight the coronavirus and ensure SEIU members and other essential workers are protected. His plan would make sure we have the equipment we need to protect ourselves and others, emergency paid leave, premium pay for workers most at-risk and resources to support our families. Biden’s plan prioritizes free testing, treatment and vaccination and nationwide standards to reopen safely. As President, he has pledged to:
- Tackle COVID-19 by making testing free for consumers and widely available, setting up a minimum of ten mobile testing sites in every state.
- Make treatment for COVID-19 affordable for patients. The plan would also dramatically increase the use of telemedicine, including within emergency rooms and intensive care units.
- Create incentives for suppliers to increase the production of masks, gloves, bleach, and hand sanitizer--and would create a plan to bring back production of medical supplies to the U.S. in preparation for the future.
- Eliminate immigrant restrictions on payments for testing and treatment of COVID that hamper efforts to stamp out the virus.
- Work closely with unions to ensure that comprehensive protective measures will be put in place to protect frontline workers. He would ensure that healthcare workers would be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and training on how to use the equipment. Biden would protect the health of frontline healthcare workers by administering COVID-19 testing on a mobile or drive-through basis whenever possible.
- Make emergency paid leave available for workers adversely impacted by COVID-19 and expand unemployment benefits to ensure that domestic workers, gig workers, and independent contractors who experience a reduction in work hours would qualify.
- Create a state and local emergency fund to allow mayors and governors to implement rental assistance, temporary interest-free relief on student loan payments, or mortgage payment relief.