The Amp

October 7, 2020

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

Covid-19 in the White House Spotlights Health Care Disparities

This week, President Trump and at least a dozen top administration officials contracted Covid-19, a predictable outcome of the disregard the administration has paid the pandemic that has killed 211,000 American lives. The president spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and he continues to receive world class taxpayer-provided health care at the White House. Even after contracting Covid-19 himself, he is downplaying its seriousness. He is specifically endangering White House support staff: cleaners, cooks, valets and Secret Service agents. These nonpolitical workers are forced to be in close proximity to the infected White House staff. The administration has stopped reporting how many of these anonymous workers have been infected, and the District of Columbia is now seeing its first serious spike in cases in months. The strong Covid measures of D.C.'s mayor and health department do not apply to the Federal properties spawning these high-profile cases. 

Meanwhile, millions of Americans cannot afford health care. Many fear a single visit to the doctor will bring bills for tests and treatments they will have to weigh against rent and groceries in their budget. These struggles are disproportionately higher among low-income populations and communities of color — the very groups most likely to avoid seeing a doctor until it is too late for fear of cost. Rather than address this inequity, Trump continues to pursue an end to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) in the Supreme Court, an outcome made more likely by the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

The shape of the economy — with an increasing number of layoffs considered permanent — is putting health care out of reach for even more Americans. Local measures, like those New York Mayor Bill De Blasio recently signed to expand paid sick leave, protect small businesses and hospitality workers will help, but they can only do so much. Yesterday, Trump ended negotiations with Democrats on a much-needed stimulus bill. 

Despite all of this grim and infuriating news, The Opportunity Agenda and its partners continue to advocate for solutions using values-based messaging. Read below for talking points, messaging guidance, and more. 

Resources: The Opportunity Agenda's tips for Talking About COVID-19 and Three Pillars for Talking About Poverty and Economic OpportunityPaid Leave and Childcare Policies are the Key to Our Recovery (Family Values at Work); Do's and Dont's for Coronavirus Relief Package (Tax March); Not This Time — Watch Out for Wall Street in a Pandemic (inequality.org); Urgent Policy Needs to Support Small Businesses (Main Street Alliance); A Coronavirus Recovery Demands Substantial, Durable Aid for State and Local Governments (Center for American Progress); It's Time to Rethink Those Tax Cuts (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy); 

Hashtags: #COVID19; #PaidLeave4All; #HealthCare4All

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October 7-21

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October is See Us, Support Us Month, which raises awareness and amplifies the voices of children with incarcerated parents.

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