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A Plowshare Statement on Covid-19

A PLOWSHARE PEACE CENTER STATEMENT ON COVID-19

It is a very hard time now.  Infections and deaths are mounting.  Jobs have been lost.  Food banks are overwhelmed.  Hospitals are flooded with victims.  A plague is upon us.

This Plowshare statement is an attempt to address the current crisis, knowing that events are moving very quickly, almost hourly, and that the future is uncertain. 

The most important thing now is to contain the Covid-19 virus.  Visit the Center for Disease Control website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/what-you-can-do.html for further information.

But there’s more.  We must support each other and ourselves.  Visit the Center for Disease Control website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html for further information.

Plowshare is concerned about President Trump’s inadequacy for his position.  Like President Bush, he is the son of a rich family who failed repeatedly and was rescued by others. It’s something we always feared might happen with this President: a deadly crisis with an incompetent in the White House.

President Trump has failed miserably in responding to Covid-19.  For months, he denied or downplayed that there was any crisis.  He has been misleading the public about how we as a society should respond to this crisis. 

Plowshare is relieved that state and local governments and parts of the national government are trying to fill that vacuum.  But, as usual, it is everyday people who will save us.  It is the people -first responders, medical personnel, truckers, grocery employees, among others -who are stepping up.  And below are things you can do.  Besides the health precautions above, we encourage people to take these steps at the state and national level, where appropriate:

*Call for health measures, regarding testing, personal protective equipment, Medicaid, OSHA and health care coverage in the next coronavirus bill.  Go to Indivisible at https://indivisible.org/ for more information.  Contact your Representative and Senators at Senator Warner, https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact;  Senator Kaine, https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact; Representative Griffith, https://morgangriffith.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm; Representative Cline, https://cline.house.gov/contact.  Our Covid-19 response must prioritize public health, workers, the environment, and democracy.  Sign the Sierra Club petition to Congress: https://act.sierraclub.org/actions/National?actionId=AR0258892&id=70131000001iOuIAAU.  

*Call for a People’s Bail-out, regarding economic relief for people in the next coronavirus bill.  With the economy weakened by the epidemic, with small businesses on the verge of collapse, and with one-third of renters in America not able to pay any rent at all, the current relief bills benefit the wealthy and large corporations first – and average households, medical workers, small businesses and the poor last.  Go to Indivisible at https://indivisible.org/ for more information.  Contact your Representative and Senators at Senator Warner, https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact;  Senator Kaine, https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact; Representative Griffith, https://morgangriffith.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm; Representative Cline,

https://cline.house.gov/contact.

*Call for voting by mail, so voters are not exposed to Covid-19, by supporting the inclusion of Senator Warren’s Election Protection plan in the next coronavirus relief package.  Contact your Senators at Senator Warner, https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact and Senator Kaine, https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact.  Go to Indivisible at https://indivisible.org/ for more information.  Sign the MoveOn petition to Congress: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/every-united-states-citizen-must-be-allowed-to-vote-by-mail.

*Call for freeing of prisoners, who have been identified for immediate release, including people who are over 50 years old, are immuno-compromised, or are scheduled for release this year.  Go to Indivisible at https://indivisible.org/ for more information.  Contact Governor Northam at https://governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governor’s-office/.

*Call for undocumented immigrants to receive Covid-19 testing and treatment.  States can provide this through emergency Medicaid.  Go to Indivisible at https://indivisible.org/ for more information.  Contact Governor Northam at https://governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governor’s-office/.  To support organizations suing ICE demanding to free immigrants from detention facilities that are endangering their lives amid the Covid-19 crisis, here is a link to more information: https://www.caircoalition.org/news-clip/immigration-groups-suing-ice-demanding-immediate-release-individuals-detained-virginia.

*Call for full funding for the U.S. Post Office.  The Post office may be running out of money.  Sign the MoveOn petition to President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/fully-fund-the-united-states-postal-service.

*Call for Governor Northam to reclassify Virginia farmers markets as “Essential” Grocery Stores.  Keep them open.  Contact him at https://governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governor’s-office/.  Sign the Action Network petition at

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/re-classify-virginia-farmers-markets-as-essential-grocery-stores.

*Call to support Farm to Foodbank efforts.  Farmers should be able to sell directly to foodbanks, instead of destroying their crops.  Go to  https://www.afsc.org/ for more information. 

*Call to stop construction on the pipeline. Workers and surveyors continue to come into the rural areas from various places and are not properly practicing social distancing procedures, thus putting local residents in danger. This work is not essential and should be halted.  Sign the petition: https://bluevirginia.us/2020/04/new-pipeline-construction-is-non-essential-endangers-us-now-more-than-ever-protect-all-rural-regions-from-virus?fbclid=IwAR2Gb9CIyRPnhWs1XHX3Lelwogskzb7gje5TP5MiK_viFgKN56w8rxdiJHY.

*Call for the U.S. government’s economic warfare against Venezuela and Iran, especially during this global pandemic disaster, to stop and for diplomacy and negotiations to take its place.  Senator Warner is on the Intelligence Committee and should advocate for this. Click reply to this email and type in your name; city, town, or county of residence; and email address. Please respond by April 25. 

*Call for an end to war.  It makes no sense for nations to be trying to kill each other in a time of plague.  Sign the Code Pink petition to Warring Parties: http://www.codepink.org/ceasefire

We encourage you to monitor the Indivisible website at https://indivisible.org/ and the American Friends Service Committee website at https://www.afsc.org/ for further updates on what you can do about the Covid-19 crisis.

We will get through this. Even though many of us are self-quarantining, we can work together.  And we will only get through this together.