Quantcast
Connect with us

Bernie Sanders calls for ‘boldest legislation in history’ to halt spiraling Covid-19 catastrophe

Published

on

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday released his demands for six key priorities that he said must be included in the next round of federal economic relief for suffering Americans as the coronavirus pandemic cripples the country’s healthcare system and eviscerates the economy.

“We are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that could lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans and infect millions of others, and we are entering an economic downturn that could be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s,” Sanders said. “In this unprecedented moment in modern American history, it is imperative that we respond in an unprecedented way.”

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the Vermont lawmaker’s office, Sanders wants the next bill to include six provisions that are aimed at helping working people in the U.S. weather the crisis:

  • Addressing the employment crisis by ensuring workers remain employed and paid as well as providing social services for everyone in the country, regardless of citizenship or immigration status
  • Guaranteeing a free at point of service Medicare for All single payer healthcaer system for everyone in the country
  • Immediately using the Defense Production Act to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other needed healthcare equipment for frontline workers dealing with the pandemic
  • Providing food for everyone in the country for the duration of the crisis
  • $600 billion in aid to states and cities
  • An immediate suspension of collections of rent, mortgage payments, medical debt, and consumer debt for four months and a suspension of student loan payments through the duration of the pandemic

In a video posted to social media, Sanders said the pandemic presents an outright “emergency” for the nation’s most vulnerable populations and for all working people, and that drastic measures must be taken to protect people’s health and economic wellbeing:

Sanders, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, announced the priorities Friday afternoon. Campaign co-chair Nina Turner, in a tweet, cited the need for ambitious thinking.

“We are entering a downturn that could be worse than the Great Depression,” said Turner. “We must respond to this unprecedented challenge with the boldest measures: Sanders is outlining the most comprehensive set of priorities that will IMMEDIATELY provide relief and leave no one behind.”

The plan won praise from Ana Maria Archila, co-director of the Center For Popular Democracy Action.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Bernie’s plan for the fourth phase of a federal legislative response centers people, not corporations,” said Archila. “It is about helping us survive with the cash assistance, healthcare, nutrition, worker safety we need, and relief from monthly payments we cannot make. It speaks to the needs of frontline workers who are battling the pandemic and making it possible for the rest of us to shelter in place.”

Inclusion of the kind of provisions that Sanders is demanding in the next stimulus bill would make the package “the boldest legislation in history,” the senator’s office said. However, as some observers pointed out, the six core concepts likely represent the least that is necessary to stop a total economic meltdown.

A number of progressive groups backed the Sanders plan, calling the forward-thinking ideas in the proposal necessary to stave off an economic disaster.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Senator Sanders’ economic rescue principles speak to the bold, fast action needed to protect and support people and prevent corporations from consolidating economic and political power amidst a crisis,” said George Goehl, director of People’s Action.

Make the Road Action co-director Javier H. Valdés made the case that Sanders is offering concrete, real help to Americans.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The priorities outlined by Senators Sanders for the next Coronavirus Stimulus Package are what our country needs to ensure everyone in our community can access the financial and medical support needed to withstand this crisis,” said Valdés.” We stand with Senator Sanders in demanding a $2,000 monthly emergency payment, emergency food, and Medicare to every person in our country regardless of their housing situation, immigration status, or whether they have a bank account or internet connection.”

Meanwhile, Sanders’ rival former Vice President Joe Biden continues to claim that universal healthcare is an unworkable solution to the insurance crisis in the U.S. and that a single-payer system would not have stopped the outbreak. As Common Dreams reported, estimates of workers losing coverage due to loss of employment in 2020 could top 35 million.

In an interview Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a former candidate for president whose run was seen as ideologically similar to Sanders’, praised Biden as analogous to former President Barack Obama, who “saw us through a crisis starting back in 2009 with steady, thoughtful, smart leadership.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“That’s what I think we can expect from Vice President Biden,” said Warren, who stopped short of an outright endorsement.

Sanders appeared on MSNBC Friday to promote his plan. During the segment, host Ali Velshi listed a number of longstanding priorities of the senator’s, including Medicare for All and student debt relief, and wondered if the crisis was making Sanders’ case for president for him.

“Reality has endorsed Bernie Sanders,” tweeted progressive political group People for Bernie—a sentiment many progressive voices have shared in recent weeks.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

Published

on

In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

US military brought in to monitor police brutality protests in 7 states: leaked documents

Published

on

According to an exclusive report from The Nation, based upon Defense Department documents, U.S. military members are being dispatched to seven different states to monitor the activities of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops.

The report, by the Nation's Ken Klippenstein, notes that states include, "Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report," with the author pointing out, "Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters

Published

on

As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image