Greens Denounce Administration and Congressional Failure to Address Pandemic Threat to Health, Economy

Outrage as Administration Policy Will Sacrifice Lives to “Save” Economy

WASHINGTON — As the United States reaches more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than any other single country and Congress prepares to pass a $2 trillion dollar economic relief package, Green Party leaders called for far greater measures on all fronts, stating that a temporary “band aid” will not provide adequate funding for health care and economic relief for those, especially the most vulnerable, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The package offers hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts for the airline industry and large corporations with relatively little for small businesses, minimal for individuals, and even less for low income families and individuals.


Green Party of the United States
www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2020

Contact:
Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, meo@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Holly Hart, Co-chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Craig Seeman, Co-chair, Media Committee,  media@gp.org, 202-804-2758


Greens expressed dismay at the delays in releasing critical information, the lack of testing and treatment facilities, and the failure of many government officials to take responsible measures early on that would have slowed the spread of the disease.

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how the defunding of civic institutions, infrastructure, and private savings through the transfer of wealth to corporations over the past 50 years has prevented public institutions and individuals from preparing for unexpected events“ said Kristin Combs, co-chair of the Green party of the U.S. “We have not been able to provide enough tests, there is not enough protective equipment for healthcare workers, and hospitals and morgues will soon be overrun.” 

It’s appalling that hospitals have to beg for face masks during a pandemic,” said Sanda Everette, an officer of the Green National Women’s Caucus. “Corporate tax breaks have gutted funding for hospitals and disaster preparedness. Decreases in wages have cost ordinary people billions of dollars. Almost half of the people in the U.S. have no savings they can draw on in an emergency. Unemployment claims are skyrocketing. People are going to need more than 4 months of unemployment benefits. The response from the federal government is catastrophic. It’s time for a wholesale review of our financial system in light of the issues we are seeing. The pandemic affects everyone – we are, indeed, all in this together.’

Green Party leaders expressed further outrage over reports that members of Congress sold off stock investments just days before news of the severity of the pandemic broke to the general public. 

John “Green” Fortuin, Georgia Green Party candidate running against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is embroiled in this scandal, stated “Senator Loeffler’s alleged insider trading should concern all Georgians and voters nationwide. An inquiry into her communications is necessary to determine if her trades were influenced by the coronavirus intelligence briefing, and if her personal profiteering was at the expense of retirees and other vulnerable Americans.”

“Our economic stimulus to the coronavirus should be based on realizing the goals of the Green New Deal, moving to 100% clean renewable energy zero emissions by 2030 while ensuring economic justice for all, including a guaranteed living wage job and income and universal single payer health care. Both the climate change and pandemic crises need a global emergency mobilization that continues until we have built a different world based on equality,” said Mark Dunlea, a member of the Eco-Action Committee of the Green Party of the United States and recent Green Party candidate for New York State Comptroller.

The Green Party calls for a truly fair and comprehensive economic stimulus that supports our health care infrastructure’s capacity to deal with the current pandemic while preparing for future natural and health disasters:

  • Reinstate and increase major funding for research, health care facilities and equipment;
  • Halt to evictions, moratorium or forgiveness on all rents and mortgage payments, rent jubilee;
  • Halt to cut-offs, extend service for electric, telephone and internet (especially when people need to stay informed and to combat social isolation);
  • Safe emergency shelter for the homeless;
  • Measures to ensure health and safety of incarcerated individuals;
  • Institute universal basic income (sometimes known as universal liveable income);
  • Hazard pay for workers in critical infrastructure jobs
  • Single payer health insurance for all;
  • An emergency safety net for those who lose or have no work;
  • Prevent employees from forcing employees to work in risky conditions, and hazard pay for workers in critical infrastructure;
  • Lift economic sanctions on Iran, and all countries under economic sanctions, so that they can receive economic support and goods they need to protect their citizens (and by default everyone else on the planet) from the spread of the disease;
  • A REAL Green New Deal, to create green jobs and re-purposing of polluting industries, and invest in domestic infrastructure;
  • Outlaw for-profit hospitals;
  • High speed and accessible internet as a utility and public service, available to all;
  • Drastic reduction of the military budget, and a conversion to a “war time effort” to fight the pandemic and provide health and economic security for all.

For more information

The $2 trillion relief package is the biggest in American historyThe New York Times, March 25, 2020

Cuomo: ‘Numbers don’t work’ in ‘terrible’ Senate stimulus package, Budryk, Zach. The HIll, March 25, 2020

US now leads the world in known coronavirus cases, Sullivan, Peter. The HiIl, March 26, 2020

Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness, Faturechi, Robert, Derek Willis. ProPublica, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus Is Advancing. All Americans Need to Shelter in Place

Greenbacks not Bailouts: Green Party Banking and Monetary Reform Committee economic strategy

Virus or no virus, we can’t lose our voice: Cheri Honkala on battling back on frontline communities, Garrison, Ann. San Francisco Bay View, March22, 2020

States reject Trump calls to reopen economy by Easter, Wilson, Reid. The Hill, March 25, 2020

US Senate Candidate Lisa Savage Outlines Covid-19 Response Plan

A blog list of articles on the issue: https://www.gp.org/tags/covid_19

Green Party Platform: Healthcare

Green Party Position: Single Payer Health Insurance

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

A blog list of articles on the issue: https://www.gp.org/tags/covid_19 


Green Party of the United States

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