As U.S. COVID Deaths Pass 1 Million, Survivors and Long-Haulers Call for Action in Congress and Statehouses Across the Country
NEW YORK – As the United States crosses 1 million deaths from COVID-19, the non-partisan grassroots survivor network, COVID Survivors for Change, released the following statements:
“When I lost my husband to COVID, I was devastated because we had taken every precaution,” said Kate McLaughlin, a member of Young Widows and Widowers of Covid-19 and COVID Survivors for Change in California whose husband, Jason, died of COVID-19 in 2021. “COVID took so much from my family. For many people, getting vaccinated and boosted was the end of their pandemic, but for millions of American families like mine, COVID remains an everyday part of life. COVID survivors are the living memory of the pandemic; we know that our country is not out of the woods yet. We need action from our elected leaders, beginning with our state leaders creating a hand-up for the more than 200,000 children who lost a parent or guardian to COVID, including scholarships and baby bonds.”
“The loss of my father left me with unimaginable grief, and my heart breaks for my more than one million families experiencing COVID loss,” said Sabila Khan, co-founder of COVID-19 Loss Support for Family and Friends and New Jersey-based member of COVID Survivors for Change. “When bereaved families stood alongside COVID long haulers and Senators Menendez and Murray, we knew that this milestone was coming. That knowledge hasn’t made it hurt any less. Rather than be discouraged, I choose to double down in our fight to ensure that survivors and families are protected and cared for moving forward. We call on Congress to act so we never again mark another tragic milestone like the one we face today.”
“My dad was one of the millions of Americans killed by COVID, but his life was so much bigger than this virus,” said Charonda Johnson, Strategic Partnerships Manager and Delaware-based member of COVID Survivors for Change. “We owe it to those lost to COVID, their loved ones, the millions of Americans suffering from long-haul COVID, and everyone who comes after us not to forget, to act swiftly, and, as we move forward, to not leave anyone behind. Our communities need emergency COVID funding, a plan to help children orphaned by COVID, and the resources within the PREVENT Pandemics Act now.”
On April 27, family members of COVID victims and long-haulers from across the U.S. took to Capitol Hill, holding a national vigil and press conference with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, author of the PREVENT Pandemics Act, and co-author Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, who has championed the COVID task force in the PREVENT Pandemics Act. Survivors urged lawmakers to pass full emergency COVID funding and called for a Senate vote on the PREVENT Pandemics Act. As we pass the gruesome milestone of 1 million deaths, this funding could not be more urgent.
COVID Survivors for Change is a nationwide community of survivors fighting for a stronger pandemic response to save lives by supporting survivors, remembering those who have died, and advocating for public health measures to prevent future pandemics. We do this by offering trauma-informed resources and programs, sharing and amplifying survivor stories, and taking action to bring about legislative and cultural change. Our volunteers are active in all 50 states, have trained more than 700 COVID survivors on advocacy and self-care, and have provided more than 2,100 hours of support with mental health professionals. Learn more at https://covidsurvivorsforchange.org, and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/covidsurvivorsforchange or on Twitter at @SurvivorsChange.