This morning, we learned that over 33 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since mid-March — one out of every five American workers. As bad as that is, the figures don’t come close to measuring the real human toll of the current crisis: one out of every five children in America are not getting enough to eat. Small businesses that to so many were their piece of the American Dream are closing and won’t reopen. Many more have lost their jobs or had their hours slashed and have been unable to successfully navigate the unemployment system. And, most tragically, our country has lost more than 74,000 people to the pandemic to date. This is the cost of complacency.
President Trump had months to take action and stave off the worst of this crisis; he should have been deploying tests, marshaling medical supplies, and bracing the public to slow the spread from the minute he was briefed on its dangers this winter. He chose instead to dismiss the experts and knowingly make false promises about our testing capacity and the trajectory of the virus. Even as we grieve for all we’ve lost, our most urgent task now is to get help to everyone who needs it — efficiently, equitably, and immediately.