ONE MILLION COVID DEATHS*

U.S. Passes 200,000 Dead
Official Death Count Nears 1 Million Threshold Worldwide

PANDEMIC ACCELERATING: U.S. Must Implement a People's Pandemic Prevention Plan NOW

THE PRESIDENT HAS COVID. STILL NO PLAN.

* More than one million confirmed cases; actual body count nearing TWO MILLION

Right to Health Action [R2H Action]

Press Advisory • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  • October 2, 2020

CONTACT: Molly McNab, R2H Action • molly.mcnab@r2haction.org

---

[Washington, DC] The week that the world crossed the grim milestone of one million official deaths from COVID-19. More than 200,000 of those deaths are in the United States. Horrifically, one of those stricken by the Coronovirus is Donald Trump—the President said the virus would “disappear” and that many cases were “harmless". Now after six months of denial, premature re-openings, and relentless misinformation, the American COVID-positive president still has no plan to put an end to the pandemic. As the weather gets colder and we head indoors even more, the country is staring down a rapidly accelerating pandemic, set to collide with a seasonal flu. 

“We are months into a worldwide pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the globe,” says R2H Action’s Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn. “We now know that the Trump Administration knew about the deadliness of coronavirus, yet failed to act, resulting in more than 200,000 Americans dead. Now as we head into the flu season, there is still no plan in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 or proactively halt the accelerating rise of future pandemics. Deaths are expected to at least double before the end of the year. Rather than lying about his taxes and lying about a miracle cure pre-election vaccine, Donald Trump should be promoting WHO’s 172-nation collaborative vaccine effort.”

The next months are critical. Countless lives depend on actions taken today. Right to Health Action is teaming up with Members of Congress, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Ro Khanna and Barabara Lee to fight for a Pandemic Prevention Plan that enacts the policies that address the root causes of pandemics, including:

  • A permanent public health workforce to end health disparities: 300,000-strong permanent union jobs to rebuild American public health, perform contact tracing, testing and isolation support we need, but later move on as organizers to rectify health disparities and the structural racism throughout our health system and community development policies that serve to magnify the impact of pandemics on those who were already made poor and sick.

  • Accessible and affordable COVID-19 vaccines and medicines for all: Congress and a Biden Administration must end Donald Trump's boycott of global collaborative efforts like the 172-nation WHO/Gavi-led COVAX Facility, and include fair pricing and open access requirements on tax-payer funded R&D to ensure affordable access to medicines and vaccines worldwide.

  • Double U.S. Global health funding to end the pandemics we already have, including AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and to build and support stronger public-sector health systems for labs, disease surveillance, health workforce and community support in low- and middle-income countries, to meet WHO International Health Regulations and stop pandemics where they start, before they spread.

  • Action to stop corporate-driven deforestation, the single largest driver of the exponential acceleration of outbreaks from animals to humans. Corporations that put the world's health at risk should no longer be able to sell their products in the United States. At the same time, the U.S. Government must fund indigenous communties to create economic development alternatives to palm oil plantations and slash and burn agriculture.

R2H Action’s Pandemic Prevention Plan, being advanced by Senator Warren and Representative Khanna, is also supported by renowned experts like Professor Ruha Benjamin, Dr. Nahid Bhadeli, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Professor Jeff Sachs, who remarked on a Right to Health panel that “we must let Congress know that it’s not just about money -- it’s about public health and saving lives.” Dr. Abdul El-Sayed also expressed the need for action during another Right to Health panel, stating that “there is no way we can engage the most important workers in our society, who are predominantly women of color, if we are not paying them a fair wage.” 
 
About Right to Health Action:
Right to Health Action is a grassroots movement of tens of thousands of activists, health workers, scholars, and families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 in all 50 states. Sparked by the Coronavirus pandemic, our goal is to take political action to repeal and replace deadly policies that cause cycles of pandemics that disproportionately impact the already poor and sick. We mobilize, lobby, educate and protest, bringing together activists, health workers, families impacted, and scholars to stop COVID, build back better, and stop the pandemics of the future.
 
In the past five months, R2H Action has been organizing and mobilizing to build support for the People’s Pandemic Prevention Plan. More than 65,000 people have endorsed the plan, along with more than 450 organizations, including NAACP, SEIU, Greenpeace, The Religious Action Center, Marked by COVID, Center for Popular Democracy, #VOTEPROCHOICE, People’s Action, Friends of the Earth Action, Families USA, Social Security Works, Mighty Earth, Indivisible, ACT UP, Public Citizen and many more. R2H is holding hundreds of virtual meetings with Congressional staff monthly, and has trained and mobilized thousands of activists to pressure elected officials and candidates.  
###