Poverty Amidst Pandemic: A Moral Response to COVID-19 (March 19, 2020)Edit
- William Barber II and Liz Theoharis, letter to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Members of the 116th Congress, Poverty Amidst Pandemic: A Moral Response to COVID-19 (March 19, 2020)
- With its broad sweep, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into an unprecedented national emergency. This emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that ignores the needs of 140 million people who are poor or a $400 emergency away from being poor.
- Before COVID-19, nearly 700 people died everyday because of poverty and inequality in this country. The frontlines of this pandemic will be the poor and dispossessed - those who do not have access to healthcare, housing, water, decent wages, stable work or child care - and those who are continuing to work in this crisis, meeting our health care and other needs.
- It should not have taken a pandemic to raise these resources. In June 2019, we presented a Poor People’s Moral Budget to the House Budget Committee, showing that we can meet these needs for this entire country. If you had taken up this Moral Budget, we would have already moved towards infusing more than $1.2 trillion into the economy to invest in health care, good jobs, living wages, housing, water and sanitation services and more.
- This is not the time for trickle-down solutions. We know that when you lift from the bottom, everybody rises. There are concrete solutions to this immediate crisis and the longer term illnesses we have been battling for months, years and decades before. We will continue to organize and build power until you meet these demands. Many millions of us have been hurting for far too long. We will not be silent anymore.