Some use crises to enrich themselves, like Senators Jim Inhofe, Richard Burr, Ron Johnson, Kelly Loeffler, and Diane Feinstein were discovered last week to have been doing.
Some, however, seize opportunities crises present to usher in structural changes to prevent further crises.
Such an individual is Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
As Congress moves closer to finalizing a $2 trillion stimulus package to help mitigate the economic havoc the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is wreaking, Sanders has offered up his own $2 trillion plan.
But unlike the means-test two-week sick leave bill with no provisions for freelance and gig workers House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) originally favored, Sanders wants every everyone the virus has left unemployed to receive $2,000–100% of unemployment benefits–in monthly cash payments.
He also wants moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures, utility shutoffs, and loan payments.
This is similar to the proposals the House Financial Services Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters proposed Wednesday that includes billions in grants to small businesses.
That’s not all Sanders is doing to aid those the virus is afflicting.
He is using his prodigious individual donor base to raise millions for charities, raising $2 million in the first 48 hours after donations began Saturday.
Those charities include Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign says it raised $2 million in two days for Meals on Wheels, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation’s relied fund and other charities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) March 21, 2020
Political strategist Tim Tagaris tweeted:
“Bernie Sanders supporters have contributed more than $2 million in 2 days to charities helping people whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus. Not done yet.”
The @BernieSanders' campaign puts its fundraising prowess to another purpose: It raised $2 million in 48 hours for five charities involved in coping with the coronavirus outbreak, the campaign announced Saturday.
— Janet Hook (@hookjan) March 21, 2020
Sanders campaign digital fundraising director Robin Curran explained:
“What we’ve seen in the last two days is the definition of ‘fighting for someone you don’t know.’ 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.”
Sanders said during a roundtable discussion Friday:
“In this extraordinary moment in American and world history, we have got to think outside the box in a way that we have never done. This is an unprecedented moment and we have got to think in an unprecedented way.”
Details of his emergency response include:
- Empowering Medicare to lead our response.
- Establishing an emergency economic crisis finance agency.
- Creating an oversight agency to investigate corporate corruption and price-gouging.
There’s a stereotype that politicians are self-serving and duplicitous.
Sen. Bernie Sanders proves how some stereotypes are just plain wrong.
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