There is a pandemic. Main Street Americans needs some aid. So do small businesses. So what is the problem? The problem is Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP cohorts.

Let’s take a look at the problem. To date the virus has taken the lives of over 150,000 of our residents, and has infected over 4 million. Lives have been disrupted. People who need to work can’t. Small businesses are hurting. And as we’ve seen in every place where Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines have been ignored, preventable deaths and illness have increased.

Epidemiologists, scientists, doctors, and other health care professionals have urged us to follow CDC precautions: wash hands often, avoid close contact, cover the mouth and nose when around others, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect, monitor daily health. 

Until a vaccine becomes available to all, this pandemic will continue to disrupt our lives. So what do we do in the meantime? How will we pay our bills? Good questions. Now go back and read the first paragraph.

McConnell’s program will slash unemployment benefits, offers minimal help to small businesses, does not provide the federal support needed to make schools safe, includes immunity to big businesses that fail to take steps to safeguard employees, fails to provide federal funds to states and cities to make up for loss revenue and does not help everyday people pay for costs associated with COVID-19 illnesses. The list goes shamefully on.

We are in the midst of a crisis. Washington’s two Democratic senators are on our side. Republican senators from other states need to hear that we want them to reject McConnell’s mean-spirited delays. We need real help. Now.

Richard Austin

Mount Vernon

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