Covid Survivors View the American Families Plan as Essential to Pandemic Prevention and Covid Survivors’ Recovery
Covid Survivors for Change Members Launch Petition to Support the American Families Plan and Paid Leave Proposals in Statehouses
WASHINGTON – Hours before President Biden’s first address to Congress, Covid Survivors for Change, a non-partisan grassroots network of Covid survivors, announced its support for paid leave for all and called on Congress to pass President Biden’s American Families Plan immediately.
“A little over a year ago, I was healthy and happily working,” said Marjorie Roberts, a Georgia-based member of Covid Survivors for Change who contracted the deadly virus in March 2020 while working in a hospital gift shop. “Since contracting Covid, I can hardly walk around the block, much less work an eight-hour shift. I don’t know when – or if – my Covid symptoms will subside, but I do know that the millions of Americans who struggle with long-hauler symptoms like mine need real relief. We lost our health due to no fault of our own. Now, we need our lawmakers to stand with us so we don’t lose our homes, too.”
For Covid-19 long-haulers, many who suffer from debilitating symptoms months after their diagnosis, paid family and medical leave is especially critical. Paid family and medical leave guarantees that people taking leave for longer periods of time, like weeks or months, can do it without going bankrupt. And it ensures that no one goes to work sick because they can’t afford to stay home.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans to choose between taking care of their family’s health or collecting a paycheck, and that’s a choice no one should have to make,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of Covid Survivors for Change. “The last year proved that when we don’t prioritize caregiving and public health, millions suffer. Lawmakers should listen to their constituents and show their support for paid leave for all by passing the American Families Plan as quickly as possible. Particularly in a pandemic, families deserve the relief and flexibility they need to stay afloat – and this bill will help provide that.”
To date, more than 570,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, and more than 32 million have contracted the virus. During the pandemic, thousands of Americans have left full-time positions to care for children or sick family members, especially long-haulers. With that loss of income, they struggle to cover essential living expenses like rent, utility bills and groceries. By funding paid leave for all, Congress would help to prevent future pandemics and ensure the stability of millions of families struggling due to Covid.
Already, Covid Survivors for Change has launched a petition urging Americans to support paid leave. Over the next few weeks, Covid Survivors for Change members will take their action offline, working to meet with lawmakers and demand strong paid leave policies across the nation.
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.