RALEIGH (October 29, 2020) — These last few weeks, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage across the United States and infection rates climbed to their highest point since the pandemic began, our nation’s leaders decided to move forward with hearings appointing a new member to the U.S. Supreme Court, turning their attention away from a nation of people at risk and at unrest.

On October 26, 2020, with nearly 70,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and as almost 800 people lost their lives to this deadly disease that has claimed 220,000 Americans, the Trump Administration continued to ignore the need for a comprehensive and accessible health care system, expanded testing, and a public health infrastructure to contain the virus. It instead turned its efforts toward appointing a new Supreme Court Justice, and – after a rushed and contentious confirmation hearing – succeeded in shaping the court for decades to come.

After seven months of living through a seemingly interminable and unprecedented national crisis, Americans needed transparency, equity, and action; instead, the Trump Administration and the obsequious U.S. Senate sowed mistrust, division, and inaction on COVID-19.

It is time for our nation’s leaders to do what they should have been doing for the past month, and return their attention to the badly needed federal COVID-19 relief. As lawmakers focused on hearings and backroom politics, far too many Americans were focused on merely surviving. It’s time for our leaders to reprioritize the health and well-being of a nation at odds with itself and put us on a path toward unity and physical, economic, and mental health for all.