MJ Hegar issued the following statement on the relief package and urged Washington to continue working to make workers whole and provide necessary health care resources to meet the demands of the pandemic:
“With millions of Texans feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Texas hospitals and health care workers already feeling the strain, every day without relief is a day too long. The relief package is a step forward, but the work is far from over,” said MJ Hegar. “We need Washington to put workers and small businesses first, support but also hold large corporations and their CEOs to strict transparency and accountability measures, and rush additional resources to our hospitals and health care workers as they continue to serve on the frontlines of this pandemic.”
Below are immediate actions MJ is calling for:
- Ensure our hospitals have the funding and equipment they need to treat patients and protect frontline health care workers — that means everything from ramping up production of face masks, ventilators, gloves and gowns to properly equipping ICUs. Senators should urge the administration to use the Defense Production Act to step up production of these critical resources and ensure Texas does not have to bid against other states for life-saving equipment.
- Set up mobile hospitals and reopen closed hospitals – of which Texas has more than any other state – to increase our health care capacity in rural and hard-to-reach areas.
- Provide additional cash payments and long term financial assistance to struggling workers and small businesses for the duration of the pandemic. Guarantee struggling workers can defer on payments for their rent, mortgages, student loans, electric and internet bills, credit cards, etc.
- Expand emergency paid sick leave so all sick and exposed workers can stay home and avoid spreading the virus.