WASHINGTON — Top Democrats are demanding that the White House address the issues people are concerned about regarding the coronavirus. These range from paid sick leave to free testing kits for people who need them, like people across California in areas impacted by the virus.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they’re raising this issue now because the White House and President Trump are considering tax cuts for corporations that may be economically impacted by the virus. Pelosi said that while the president is looking to relieve corporations from their falling stocks, he should be prioritizing the needs of the people first.
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She sent a statement along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging the president to consider several issues.
One issue is paid sick leave for any worker who is quarantined or for anyone responsible for caring for children impacted by school closures; this could be California school teachers, nurses, and librarians.
Pelosi also called on the expansion of SNAP, WIC, and school lunches to ensure food security. She said she wants the administration to make sure treatment is affordable and for coronavirus-related medication and equipment costs to not get inflated.
California House lawmaker, Ted Lieu, a staunch critic of the president, said the main concern right now, which is included on Pelosi’s list, is getting free test kits out to anyone who needs them.
"We need to get test kits out to ther American people. Unfortunately, the Trump administration knew about this problem in January and we still have insufficient test kits," said Lieu. "That is unacceptable and a dereliction of duty on the President of the United States. We need to get these test kits out because if we cannot test for this virus and identify it, then we cannot contain it. If you yourself are sick, cover up your coughs and sneezes. A lot of it is common sense so make sure you take those precautions."
The Trump administration says it is doing everything it can to contain the virus with the president maintaining that the risk for the average American is “low."
The administration is limiting people coming into the U.S. from China while urging people not to fly to countries like Italy and South Korea where the virus outbreak rate is higher.
President Trump has taken to Twitter, to accuse the media and Democrats of weaponizing the coronavirus against him and his reelection efforts.
Republican California House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, said he gives the president a lot of credit for closing borders early and continuing work to search for vaccines.