More than rhetoric needed
5/14/2020, 6 p.m.
Re “Kay Coles James heads National Coronavirus Recovery Commission,” Free Press May 7-9 edition:
Kay James is one of the great achievers of our city. In her new role leading the Trump- allied National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, I pray she will have some positive influence on an administration that seems totally unprepared for the crisis it faces.
She could start by infusing some conscience and some compassion into the White House. President Trump has shown little compassion generally, and absolutely minimal support for front line workers with low incomes.
The James Commission seems to have a twofold purpose: 1) to justify the abandonment of compelling federal obligations and to set up governors and mayors as scapegoats, and 2) to make sure that COVID-19 policies ultimately benefit elite business interests, not the well-being of American families.
In her native state, if Ms. James wanted to move the needle, she could join those petitioning state and federal officials for more COVID-19 protections for highly exposed workers, such as health care workers everywhere, farm workers, transit workers, meat processing workers, construction workers, sanitation workers, postal workers and others. When infected, these workers need a safe place to recover, food for their families, child care and survival income to meet their needs.
This is an emergency for lower-income families and it will benefit us all if we respond with creative solutions and generosity.
Ms. James has said, “The message is to protect the people you love.” It requires more than rhetoric.