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New Polling Shows Widespread US Public Support for Paid Sick Leave, Medicare for All to Fight Coronavirus

"Humane policies are popular policies."

A flyer protesting the response to the coronavirus  posted in the French Quarter on March 15, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Strong majorities of U.S. voters across the political spectrum support an array of progressive policy proposals that would provide immediate relief to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including two weeks of paid sick leave, free vaccinations, and free comprehensive healthcare for all.

That's according to new survey results released Monday by progressive polling outfit Data for Progress and advocacy group The Justice Collaborative. The groups described their package of proposals as an alternative to the "neoliberal, go-it-alone policies adopted by both major parties over the last 40 years."

"To be clear—two weeks is not long enough given the likely duration of this crisis. The CDC has recommended cancelling events with fifty or more people for the next eight weeks."
—Data for Progress, The Justice Collaborative

The poll showed that U.S. voters favor far more expansive coronavirus relief than what's contained in the bill passed Saturday by the Democrat-controlled House. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides two weeks of paid sick leave for just 20% of workers and limits family leave pay to two-thirds of the employee's regular rate. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on the measure as early as Monday.

Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative found that 66% of voters—including 56% of Republicans—support providing two weeks of paid sick leave for all U.S. workers in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and 68% support guaranteeing two weeks of paid family leave for workers whose children are diagnosed with coronavirus.

"To be clear—two weeks is not long enough given the likely duration of this crisis," the groups wrote in a memo (pdf) on their findings. "The CDC has recommended cancelling events with fifty or more people for the next eight weeks."

The survey also found that 76% support free testing, 75% believe any coronavirus vaccine must be free for all, and 53%—including 74% of Democrats—favor guaranteeing "every American healthcare without any out-of-pocket costs for monthly premiums, co-pays, or deductibles."

"These results show that voters support more aggressive intervention than what the federal relief legislation provides," the memo reads. "That bill does include free coronavirus testing, but it does not guarantee no-cost vaccines or access to broader comprehensive care—essential components of successfully treating the disease and slowing its spread."

In response to the findings, progressive organizer and New York congressional candidate Adem Bunkeddeko tweeted, "Humane policies are popular policies."

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