Sanders Raises Millions For Coronavirus Relief

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As the Coronavirus outbreak has raged across the U.S., Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential primary contender Bernie Sanders has stepped up. In recent days, his campaign put out calls for supporters to donate money for Coronavirus relief charities, and this Saturday, they announced that via more than 50,000 individual donations, they’d raised more than $2 million for those charities in the previous 48 hours or so alone.

Sanders campaign digital fundraising director Robin Curran shared, using a phrase that’s emerged at the center of their modus operandi:

‘What we’ve seen in the last two days is the definition of fighting for someone you don’t know. The people supporting this campaign have made more than 50,000 donations to help those most impacted by coronavirus because they understand that now more than ever it is important that we are in this together.’

The organizations benefiting from the campaign’s fundraising include No Kid Hungry, One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, Meals on Wheels, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The charities benefiting from the Sanders campaign’s fundraising efforts cover social areas hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, which has forced closures of establishments ranging from schools to restaurants and bars across the country. States including California, New York, and Illinois have all issued broad stay-at-home orders, demanding that residents stay in their residences for all but essential trips, and that’s left families struggling.

Sanders has personally held a slew of often online events covering the Coronavirus crisis. Just this Friday evening, he held what his campaign billed as a “virtual roundtable on the economic and health crises created by coronavirus.” Earlier in the week, he rolled out his own idea of an appropriate plan for combating the upheaval wrought by the Coronavirus, which included monthly payments of $2,000 to individual Americans, which is both more frequent and higher in individual payment amount than the Republican proposal.

That Republican proposal also includes big boosts to struggling corporations like airlines. Sanders insisted on Friday during his live talk from his campaign headquarters in Vermont:

‘The Republican proposal provides massive tax breaks and subsidies to the wealthy and very large corporations, while providing little to no assistance to the people most in need… we should sit down and work out a set of policies that work for working families, not just large corporations.’

Others involved in that online Sanders campaign event included Sara Nelson, who serves as the president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, and Saru Jayaraman, who’s the co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Each of them had dire warnings about the looming impact from the Coronavirus on American workers. Nelson indicated that the majority of the workforce covered by their union could be temporarily laid off, while Jayaraman pointed out that even unemployment insurance won’t cover gaps for service workers who rely on tips. The lost actual salary that would be compensated for is quite low.

They’re not the only sources of dire economic warnings. Goldman Sachs projected recently that GDP could fall 24 percent in the second quarter of this year, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently warned Congress that unemployment could hit 20 percent.