Coronavirus: Dems Push for Relief Spending, Trump Says Effort is DOA

This week House Democrats released the HEROES Act, which is a $3 trillion relief package designed to bolster state governments, increase widespread testing, extend unemployment insurance, and expand vote-by-mail ahead of the November election. Additionally, the HEROES Act would provide hazard pay for frontline workers, issue another round of direct payments to Americans and even has a provision of $71 million to Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Geological Survey to survey and support wildlife-borne disease.

The reaction from President Trump? The bill is DOA

Why This Matters: There is widespread economic suffering and that certainly must be addressed but while the government is spending and investing money in the economy we cannot forget the environment. Working to create jobs in the green economy as well as to protect nature to ensure that zoonotic diseases don’t readily spread to humans as a result of habitat loss is crucial.

As National Geographic’s Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala said on a call with press yesterday “Even if we just look at the cold economics it makes so much sense to spend the money to protect our planet and stop illegal wildlife trade….it’s the easiest and cheapest vaccine we have.”

Congressional Republicans are saying that they’re worried about the national debt and want to make spending cuts to make up for the stimulus. It’s not going to be easy for Democrats to pass the spending measures they seek but the counter-message has to be that the GOP approved tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires enabling them to pay fewer taxes than the working class. Otherwise, getting funding for these programs down the road will be exceptionally difficult.

Say What? The World Health Organization warned Wednesday that the new coronavirus may never go away and populations around the world will have to learn to live with it.

Food for Thought: After the pandemic, will customers ever return to the hot food bar?

Immigration: Detained immigrants are pleading for masks and protection from the virus. Meanwhile, as the New York Times reported, “orders that have effectively sealed the United States to migrants seeking protection from persecution would remain in place until a health official declared the virus no longer a threat.”

DMV: Maryland lifts its stay at home order and will allow some businesses to ease back into reopening. This comes as DC extends its order through June 8th.

 

We need a ‘green governor’ to stem climate change

With the election of Ron DeSantis as governor in 2018, there was hope among voters across the political spectrum that he could be the “green governor” that Florida desperately needs. But when it comes to the urgent climate crisis unfolding before our eyes, he’s been all talk and no action, and his allies in the Florida Legislature aren’t helping either.

Why This Matters:

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