The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has exposed for the whole world to see the inhumanity and inadequacy of the U.S. healthcare system and the many injustices suffered by working and oppressed people living in this capitalist system. The current pandemic highlights the need for universal health care such as an enhanced Medicare for All. As the economy slows down, it is the marginalized communities, low-paid workers, immigrants, the incarcerated, schoolchildren and the elderly, who are impacted especially hard. It is a time for the U.S. government to launch a massive aid and stimulus program directed, first and foremost, towards working people and the poor.
To this end, we demand that:
- Every person, regardless of immigration status, must receive all of the health care they need without cost, including no-cost COVID-19 testing and vaccine, when it becomes available.
- Paid family and sick leave for all workers, as needed.
- Emergency shelters for those without housing.
- Moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and utility shutoffs.
- Immediate restoration of electric, heating and water service for those without such services.
- With schools shutdown:
– Free school lunches.
– Free high speed internet service and technology, including computers, so all students can access online learning materials from home.
- Workers lost income be supplemented by
– Emergency unemployment assistance.
– Providing each adult with $750 /week plus $300 for each dependent child.
– Increasing balances on EBT cards.
– Expanded food assistance programs.
- Significantly reduce the jail and prison population by
– Ending cash bail and releasing those detained for not posting bond.
– Releasing all non-violent prisoners.
– Release all detainees from ICE detention centers, and re-unite parents with their children
– Immediate halt to ICE raids, immigration court proceedings and ICE check-ins.
While Senator Bernie Sanders has also released a program for dealing with some aspects of the current pandemic and calls for solidarity, his solidarity stops at the border. We call for international solidarity and demand further that:
- All sanctions against other countries be lifted. This includes sanctions against Iran, where a major outbreak of COVID-19 is occurring, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Syria, Myanmar, Russia, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
- Patents and royalty payments on medical technologies and any other technologies need to fight the COVID-19 pandemic be suspended.
We urge all people to join in community efforts to offer aid to those most impacted by this current crisis.