It is clear that the current administration is not interested in providing aid and support for our communities in response to this public health crisis. They have no plan. Some state governments are stepping up, though not enough, while others are laughably incompetent.
This is not surprising given the US is the only wealthy, industrialized nation in the world that does not consider health care to be a basic human right — one where our politicians tell us to stop buying iPhones to pay for health care instead. Yet, you can buy an iPhone 11 Pro ($999) for less than the annual amount that an average American spends on drug prescriptions alone ($1,200).
The stimulus package prioritized private corporations instead of working class people, not to mention the millions of undocumented folks that enrich our economy. We need a livable minimum wage, paid sick leave, paid family leave, paid time off, sustainable unemployment infrastructure, affordable housing, and free health care — for everyone. This stimulus package did not even waive fees for treating the virus. If you get hospitalized because of the government’s irresponsible and miserably inadequate response to this crisis, good luck paying for it.
Update 14 April 2020
Unsurprisingly, it was recently reported that a tax change in the coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires:
The provision, included by Senate Republicans, will cost taxpayers approximately $90 billion in 2020.
Fortunately, the package did include funding for hospitals, local governments, and small businesses, but the largest portion of funding was still given to big businesses where some CEOs make 195 times the median pay for employees. Some adults will get a one-time payment of up to $1,200 — but how long will that last if you lost your job and lost your employer-based health insurance? A check for $1,200 is just enough to cover the average cost of one’s prescription drugs every year! But hey, you could buy a brand new iPhone 11 Pro and have some money left over.
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So non-profits and other community organizations must fill-in the massive gaps left by our pathetic excuse for a government. I have seen far too many GoFundMe campaigns to list them all. But here’s a list of mutual aid resources for the Bay Area:
- Bay Area Mutual Aid Resources
- Bay TANC
- Causa Justa / Just Cause
- Bay Area Rent Strike
- Berkeley Mutual Aid Network
- Oakland At Risk
- SF Community Support
- Bonus: locally made face masks 😷 (Oakland-based, Black-owned)
The only consistent and reliable sources of aid and support we have in this dysfunctional and brutal system is our community. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to your coworkers. We must take care of each other. The politicians certainly will not.
Sadly, I think this is probably going to get worse. I hope I’m wrong.