Press Release

COVID-19 Relief Deal an Important First Step, Much More Left to Be Done

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the latest COVID-19 relief:

It’s been more than seven months since Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act to provide historic relief in the face of a historic crisis. At that point, 86,000 of our fellow Americans had lost their lives to COVID-19. As of today, more than 317,000 are dead. Millions of Americans are sick with this virus, have depleted life savings to stay afloat or are suffering economic hardship through no fault of our own.

We are pleased a relief deal is finally on its way to the president’s desk. It will put money in people’s pockets, keep transportation workers on the job and bolster housing, health care and food assistance. It’s an important step as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to wage a long overdue national fight against this virus. But this package should’ve been so much more.  

Mitch McConnell’s delay tactics meant to protect corporations whose negligence led to thousands of deaths is despicable. His decision to block state and local aid is an insult to the public service workers who make America go. It will only lead to more layoffs as well as slower emergency response times, higher patient ratios, dirtier streets and overcrowded prisons. Working people need a Senate that will work with the president-elect and House to focus on lives and livelihoods, not lawsuits and liability. 

With modest relief on the way, we now must demote McConnell by firing the two Georgia senators who have allowed him to hold our families and communities hostage for far too long. Working people are ready to usher in a new year with a new president and a new Senate so that we can finally move an agenda that puts workers first. 

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018