Bernie Sanders Campaign Raises $2 Million From Supporters For COVID-19 Relief Efforts
On Thursday afternoon Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reached out to supporters of his presidential campaign to raise money for individuals negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. By Saturday morning his campaign said it raised more than $2 million for the following charities: No Kid Hungry, One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, Meals on Wheels, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
“What we’ve seen in the last two days is the definition of fighting for someone you don’t know,” said Robin Curran, the Digital Fundraising Director for the Sanders campaign in a statement before adding, “The people supporting this campaign have made more than 50,000 donations to help those most impacted by coronavirus because they understand that now more than ever it is important that we are in this together.”
Senator Sanders has hosted multiple virtual rallies over the past week focusing on what the country needs to do to take care of workers and small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, while rival former Vice President Joe Biden has failed to make any live appearances. During these virtual rallies and conferences streamed on Facebook, Periscope, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube — Sanders has proposed the most ambitious relief package for United States citizens.
Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom have put in place social safety nets that will help workers and small to medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, while the United States Congress continues to debate over means-testing and the number of payments the government will make to workers affected by the outbreak. Sanders has also called for additional measures to ensure citizens aren’t economically crippled by the ongoing crisis.
According to the United States Department of Labor statistics, the week ending on March 14th saw staggering new unemployment insurance claims.
In the week ending March 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 281,000, an increase of 70,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 211,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since September 2, 2017 when it was 299,000. The 4-week moving average was 232,250, an increase of 16,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018 when it was 234,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 214,000 to 215,750.
The department attributed the claims directly to COVID-19, “During the week ending March 14, the increase in initial claims are clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus,” reads the document. “A number of states specifically cited COVID-19 related layoffs, while many states reported increased layoffs in service related industries broadly and in the accommodation and food services industries specifically, as well as in the transportation and warehousing industry, whether COVID-19 was identified directly or not.”
During these unprecedented times, it’s clear a robust and all ecompasing relief package is necessary to ensure middle and working class individuals do not end up homeless as a result of COVID-19. While aggressive measures can slow the spread of the virus, that process will take at least several months and an effective vaccine to prevent the world’s population from contracting and spreading the virus further.