Hawkins and Walker support science-based public health measures in response to covid-19 pandemic
(May 12, 2020, Syracuse, NY) – In a statement released today, Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker affirmed their support for science-based public health measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They issued their statement as the House reconvened to consider a new coronavirus relief package in the midst of a push by the Trump administration and many governors to re-open the economy before strong public health measures are in place.
They also wanted to counter misinformation circulating on the internet, at far-right “Reopen” rallies, and in conspiracy-minded media across the political spectrum. This misinformation claims the Covid-19 pandemic is a “hoax,” or at least exaggerated, in order to restrict freedom, generate profits for conspiratorial elites, and/or spoil President Trump’s chances for re-election.
Hawkins is leading in the Green Party presidential primaries and Walker is his choice for vice president.
Public Health Before Private Profits
By Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker
We call for the federal government to fund and implement a national program to test, contact trace, and quarantine people infected with Covid-19. We are five months into this pandemic in the US and seven months since US intelligence agencies first warned the Trump administration, yet we have still not taken these preventive steps that should have been ready to go as soon as the first infections in the US were identified in late January.
We also call for OSHA regulations for Personal Protective Equipment and social distancing measures in all workplaces.
We have already called on Congress to enact a comprehensive relief package to protect our health, jobs, income, housing, and small businesses.
We are pushing back today against President Trump and many governors who are sending people back to work before a test, trace, and quarantine program and worker protections are in place. Infections and deaths are still increasing. Epidemiological models indicate this re-opening without the protection measures recommended by public health experts could cause millions of infections and kill hundreds of thousands of people in the coming year.
Instead of this premature re-opening, we should follow the science-based recommendations of public health experts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the consensus of public health doctors and epidemiologists.
We must also prepare for the likelihood that this health crisis will be with us for years. Like with the other six coronavirus family of viruses, which includes the four common cold viruses, SARS-1, and MERS, there may be no longterm immunity for those who have been infected by Covid-19. People should also understand that there have been no safe and effective vaccinations developed for any coronavirus and that the fastest any vaccination was developed was four years for the mumps. While many antivirals have been developed over the last 50 years, they have not been very effective treatments for many viruses.
Before we can re-open the economy in a way that minimizes infections and deaths from Covid-19, we must have in place a robust test, trace, and quarantine program, enforceable OSHA protections for workers, and other science-based public health measures.