AFT President Randi Weingarten on House COVID-19 Relief Package
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives passing another COVID-19 relief package:
“While we wish a speedy recovery for the president and first lady, and all those who have been affected in the White House and in Republican leadership by this newest COVID-19 outbreak, this makes abundantly clear that the pandemic is not over. The relief our communities need is real. While our country grapples with crisis after crisis, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have worked tirelessly to secure extended support for the people who need it: families worrying about how to pay their rent, parents worrying about how to keep their kids safe, and millions of Americans worrying about the future of their healthcare. Without federal assistance, we won’t recover.
“The American public has indicated that they can wait until after the election for a new Supreme Court justice, but they can’t wait for lifesaving COVID-19 relief. We urge the Senate to pass this $2.2 trillion relief package to support our schools, our states, our hospitals, our post offices and the people who need it.
“The numbers don’t lie. In September alone, we lost 49,000 state government education jobs and 231,000 local government education jobs, for a total of 836,000 jobs lost in education since the beginning of the pandemic. Those are teachers, classroom assistants, social workers, school nurses and others working to keep our students engaged and supported during this crisis.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.