Leave It to Bernie Sanders to Fundraise Off the Wuhan Virus

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 9:30 AM
Leave It to Bernie Sanders to Fundraise Off the Wuhan Virus

Source: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The Bernie Sanders campaign on Monday sent an email to supporters, asking them to sign onto a petition demanding the Trump administration make all Wuhan virus testing, treatments, quarantines and vaccines free of charge. 

From the email:

The truth is, we need real scientists and health care professionals in charge of the coronavirus response and communicating updates to the public. 

But we also need to acknowledge what the Trump administration has not been able to ignore: under our current, dysfunctional for-profit health care system, people don’t go to the doctor if they cannot afford it. And during an infectious health crisis like this one, that means that potential carriers of the virus may not get checked out if they’re showing symptoms.

And the truth is, even the Trump administration has figured out that maybe it’s not a great idea to have people who might have the virus walking around the streets and going to work if they can’t afford health care and to get a checkup from a doctor.

I think even they have figured out that it’s a good idea to make sure that people who feel sick or may have some of the symptoms actually go into a doctor’s office.

They’ve even proposed using federal funds to pay for medical treatment of people who lack insurance.

Sounds a little bit like Medicare for All. 

Imagine that.

But I’m glad at least that they recognize it’s totally insane and dangerous to our society that if you’re walking around and infecting other people and you’re not going to the doctor when you should because you don’t have insurance that is counterproductive for the whole society.

I’m glad they at least recognize that.

Small steps...

So yes, this crisis is another clear example of why we must guarantee health care as a right for every single man, woman and child in this country. While some won’t get the treatment they need because they can’t afford it, others will be hit by massive medical bills simply for doing the right things. People will face bills in the hundreds of thousands for hospitalization, treatment and quarantine if they need it. That must end.

This crisis is another example of why we need universal paid family leave in this country, so people who are sick can stay home, recover, and prevent the virus from spreading.

This crisis is another example of why we must take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. It is outrageous that during his Congressional testimony, Trump’s HHS Secretary would not guarantee that a coronavirus vaccine would be affordable to all. 

The vaccine, once developed, should be free. And testing, treatment, and quarantine should be free too.

Health experts agree that the spread of the coronavirus will likely get worse before it gets better.

Donald Trump must stop spreading lies and fear, and leave the science to scientists and health professionals, not politicians. We must make certain that we are prepared for a pandemic, just as we do with FEMA and natural disasters.

At the end of the email, Sanders asked petition signers to donate to his campaign.

People are freaked out by the Wuhan virus. People are already hoarding toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and soap. The last thing we need is politicians exploiting this epidemic for fundraising. All this does is continue to create panic.