Covid activists, who want to remember the million Americans lost to the pandemic but also want to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, have made this the National Week for Covid Remembrance and Action.
In Washington, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez spoke at an event to urge passage of the Prevent Pandemics Act, which would provide for investigations of what went wrong with the US response to the pandemic.
Menendez spoke of the human toll Covid has taken on the US.
“For every person lost to Covid nine immediate family members have been affected. Think about that,” he said. “One million Americans have been taken from us by the pandemic. Nine million more carry with them the invisible scars of immense grief as a result.”
Sabila Khan of New Jersey lost her father to Covid.
“In April 2020 the Covid death toll in the US was 26,000. Two years later we have added almost 974,000 lives to that tally. How did we get here? What went wrong? The Covid bereaved are here today to demand answers,” she said.
The Prevent Pandemics Act would also improve the public health response, speed up research, and combat shortages of lifesaving medical supplies.
The investigation would involve the creation of a national Covid-19 task force to examine where the US response to the pandemic came up short.
“Crucially, it will explore the stark health and economic disparities which led to minority and low-income communities bearing the brunt of this pandemic,” he said. “It is my hope that Congress will act quickly so we can send it to President Biden’s desk.”
Published in WBGO