On Wednesday, More Than 50 Survivors Virtually Met with 16 Republican and Democratic Senators to Demand Relief for Those Impacted by Covid-19
Covid-19 Survivors Presented Senators with an Open Letter Signed by 400+ Survivors in all 50 States in Support of the American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, more than 50 members of the grassroots survivor network, Covid Survivors for Change, in partnership with the Health Care Voter, virtually met with Senate leaders in support of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Survivors from more than a dozen states, including Arizona, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin met with their lawmakers to call for a strong and equitable vaccine plan, financial support, and paid leave resources. Survivors also delivered an open letter, signed by more than 400 Covid-19 survivors from all 50 states and D.C., calling on the Senate to pass the American Rescue Plan immediately.
Participants included people who had personally survived Covid-19, as well as those who lost a loved one to the virus. For many of the survivors participating, this advocacy day was their first experience with activism. Covid survivors spoke out for:
- Access to long term medical care and support for long haulers;
- Sufficient relief payments and economic support to compensate for lost wages, depleted savings, and various other costs incurred due to the pandemic; and
- A comprehensive and equitable vaccination plan to stop the pandemic.
“I shared my story with lawmakers, but I also shared the experiences of so many other women and frontline workers with stories similar to mine,” said Marjorie Roberts, an Atlanta-based member of Covid Survivors for Change who contracted Covid-19 in March and still struggles with lingering symptoms. “First Covid took my livelihood, and then it took my health. As a Covid-19 longhauler, I’ve lived with lingering and debilitating symptoms that have taken me out of the workforce for more than 10 months. Americans need help now, and I urge my lawmakers to stand up for their constituents who are fighting to survive.”
“In honor of my father, along with the more than 500,000 Americans taken by Covid in the last year, the Senate needs to pass this bill,” said Rachel Goldstein, a Florida-based member of Covid Survivors for Change whose father was killed in New York City by Covid-19 in May. “My father was not just a statistic. His life mattered, and his death was preventable. Our lawmakers have a moral responsibility to honor those who’ve been taken and the lives who’ve been forever changed by Covid with action. We deserve a path towards recovery.”
“More than 28 million Americans have contracted Covid and on Wednesday, lawmakers got a clear message that this movement of committed activists is determined and passionate,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of Covid Survivors for Change. “So much tragedy has come out of this past year, and this week, some of the people most hurt by the pandemic channeled their heartbreak into action.We implore senate leaders to bring the American Rescue Plan to a vote and pass this legislation immediately to begin to give Covid survivors the support they need.”
“As the parent of a disabled child with complex medical needs, I know how important it is that our lawmakers deliver large-scale Covid relief urgently—families like mine, and millions of Americans, need our leaders to center direct relief in delivering our recovery from this pandemic and recession,” said Elena Hung, Executive Director of Little Lobbyists and Health Care Voter Co-Chair. “We owe it to the memories of our lost loved ones to pass the American Rescue Package and set our country on the course to recovery.”
“Covid survivors are looking to lawmakers to act now and end this pandemic—we cannot afford to wait or lose more loved ones to this virus,” said Laura Packard, founder of Health Care Voices and Health Care Voter Co-Chair. “We’ve already lost more than 500,000 friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones, including my stepfather. We’re here to tell our lawmakers: No more. It’s time to honor the memories of the people we’ve lost and the people they’ve left behind. It’s time for lawmakers to pass the American Rescue Plan.”
To date, more than 500,000 American lives have been taken by the deadly virus and nearly 30 million have contracted Covid-19. Many more have lost jobs or have been otherwise economically impacted by the pandemic. President Biden’s proposed plan is an important step towards investing in the financial relief, treatment, and ongoing support that Americans need to fully recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19.
About Covid Survivors for Change
Covid Survivors for Change is a national, non-partisan movement bringing together Americans who have lost a loved one to Covid-19, as well as those who have survived the virus and those whose lives have been dramatically altered by the pandemic. As part of Covid Survivors for Change, Americans are mobilizing to make sure that communities have the funding, resources and leadership in place to address future public health emergencies. Survivors will also find community and healing in meeting other people whose lives have been forever changed by the pandemic. For more information, please visit: covidsurvivorsforchange.org.
About Health Care Voter
Health Care Voter is a grassroots campaign that mobilizes millions across the country to hold lawmakers accountable for attacks on our access to quality affordable health care and fights for a more modern, moral and dignified health care system. Join the movement on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit us at HealthCareVoter.org.