We’ve been warned for years that changes in disease transmission are a direct consequence of climate change, yet no one seems to have made the connection between our warming planet and the arrival of COVID-19. Nor does anyone seem to have any solutions for the enormous gaps in our healthcare and welfare systems this pandemic has revealed. It is fortunate, then, that we already have two policy agendas, ready to go, that would address all the above problems.
First, we must demand Medicare for all. Materially adequate healthcare is an internationally recognized human right, and we need to seriously rethink a status quo that guarantees such care only to the affluent. After witnessing this virus’ devastating impact, we can no longer avoid the conclusion that the health of every individual directly impacts the health of everyone.
Second, we must commit to the Green New Deal. The GND addresses not only increased responsibility for our environment, but also robust investment in our people and our economy at the local level, a stimulus we desperately need to head off another deep recession. Prosperity does not trickle downwards from the wealthy, but grows upward from our communities.
These are not items on some shady socialist wish list, but long overdue reforms sorely needed by our country, as our current situation throws into sharp relief. The coronavirus response has proven when necessary, we can find funding for anything we prioritize, and never have these policies been more necessary. We must pressure our leaders to take action on behalf of our planet and our desperate lower class, and vote them out if they refuse, before tens of thousands more perish by our indifference.