Black Lives Matter is calling for the government to immediately pass a coronavirus relief package to aid all homeless and poor Americans.
The movement has launched a petition that outlines a list of demands amid the viral outbreak that has prompted state and city officials to take steps in shutting down schools, churches, bars, restaurants, and other non-essential businesses. The CDC has also urged the public to practice social-distancing to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
“At the current rate, the United States is at risk of experiencing not only a deadly healthcare crisis but one that has the potential to result in massive social, economic, and political upheaval as systems reach crisis points and begin to fracture,” the petition states.
Chris Rock and others have taken to social media to support this effort to encourage the government to be more proactive in adopting their progressive demands on how to deal with COVID-19.
It’s time to demand protection from our government in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sign BLM’s petition urging our government to protect the most vulnerable. https://t.co/UwqAyFIhat #WhatMatters2020 #Blacklivesmatter
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) March 18, 2020
While President Donald Trump has signed an economic relief bill to help businesses and certain hourly workers combat the coronavirus crisis, the BLM movement says it’s not enough.
Black Lives Matter is calling on more advocates, influencers, and supporters to join in their demand for the following:
- Immediately pass a coronavirus relief package now that provides emergency funding assistance to cover expenses to massively test the population in the millions and provide emergency food and shelter to all homeless and poor.
- Provide a protection and testing plan for incarcerated people while in custody and upon release.
- Expand SNAP and unemployment for the duration of the pandemic.
- Immediately legislate fully paid sick leave for all workers.
- Implement an immediate moratorium on evictions and utility shut-offs.
- Emergency funding for family and community-based childcare for families who cannot work from home.
In a lengthy statement as part of the petition, BLM calls out the government’s disastrous response to testing kits and testing citizens as the COVID-19 pandemonium rages on, and due to the lack of significant action from health officials, “the true rate and magnitude of the coronavirus in the United States remain illusory and fragmented at best and a deadly moral and political catastrophe at worst,” the statement reads.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are least 209,839 global coronavirus cases, and the global death toll has risen above 10,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, CNBC reports.
While the public is constantly being urged to remain in their homes, with exceptions only for essential travel, the BLM petition notes that the economic impact of these restrictions will affect Black workers the hardest.
“Among the working poor, Black workers will be harmed the most. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black, and Hispanic workers are more than twice as likely to earn poverty-level wages compared to their white counterparts,” reports Kristin Myers in Yahoo Finance.