Workers Need COVID-19 Answers, Not Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick's Denial
NEW HOPE, PA, April 2, 2020 - 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past two weeks alone. It is likely we will see the unemployment rate climb into the double digits by this summer. The loan program that was meant to save small businesses across the country is faltering before its launch and while rent was due yesterday, the one-time $1200 checks from the stimulus are still 3 weeks away.
27 million Americans had no health insurance prior to this crisis - now that number is skyrocketing. Projections show we should expect upward of 100,000 American lives to be claimed by COVID-19 this year. The virus has already killed more Americans than the attacks on 9/11.
Yet, this past week, my opponent in the race for Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, was on Dom Giordano's local radio talk show dangerously downplaying the risks of the virus by saying its death rate in the US was more similar to South Korea than Italy.
The median age in South Korea is 41.5 and for the United States it is 38.1. It is therefore reasonable to expect a virus that has a higher mortality rate in elderly populations would hit Italy harder with a median age of 45.5. That said, deaths will not be evenly distributed across the US - older populations will still get hit harder.
It is, therefore, essential we remember our district and the demographics of PA-01. Bucks County's median age is 44, far above the national average in the US and much closer to Italy's. This means our district, above and beyond most others, must take particular care in respecting social distancing and the state-wide stay at home order.
It is disappointing that as a founding member of the Coronavirus Task Force in Congress, Rep. Fitzpatrick decided to significantly downplay the risks posed to Bucks and Montgomery constituents by the ongoing pandemic.
Voters of Bucks and Montgomery Counties need to hear the truth from their representatives. When we are fighting a new virus and staring down the barrel of 20-30% unemployment by this summer, voters must trust that a comprehensive solution is on the way. Denying reality is how this situation became so deadly in the first place.
My campaign has put forward a Fair Tax Platform that puts workers and families first by funding a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights. Providing healthcare, a jobs guarantee and affordable housing, as well as immediate debt relief by cancelling medical bills for more than 78 million Americans and student debt for more than 44 million Americans is possible with targeted taxes that ensure workers making under $250,000 and couples making under $500,000 see a net increase in disposable income each year.
Rep. Fitzpatrick has downplayed the problem. I have built my candidacy around a comprehensive solution. It is time for fresh leadership with a bold vision of what America is capable of to take power in Washington.
Skylar D. Hurwitz
Independent Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania's 1st District