Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

MoveOn stages a protest against President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on May 13, 2020. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

'National Day of Mourning' Protests This Week to Condemn GOP Failures Amid Mass Suffering Caused by Covid-19

"This should be political suicide. Let's make sure it is."

With Republicans in Congress stonewalling the possibility of any additional coronavirus relief even as tens of millions of people across the U.S are newly out of work, uninsured, hungry, and unable to afford rent, a coalition of progressive advocacy groups is planning nationwide protests this week to condemn GOP obstruction and demand the urgent passage of desperately needed aid for people and families.

On Wednesday, funeral-style actions in more than 20 states across the country will mourn the nearly 90,000 people who have died of Covid-19 and denounce President Donald Trump and the GOP for failing to take sufficiently urgent and bold action against the pandemic. The "National Day of Mourning" was organized by MoveOn, Indivisible, the Center for Popular Democracy, and other groups.

"People should not have to risk their lives and endanger their families to have income in a pandemic. One $1,200 check is not enough. We must ensure every person in this country receives $2,000 a month for the duration of this crisis."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

In Washington, D.C., protestors are expected to drive a 200-car funeral procession from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) residence to the White House, passing the Trump International Hotel along the way. Participants are planning to lay down body bags in front of the White House and eulogize loved ones lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A similar action is set to take place in South Carolina, where a funeral procession will begin at a local chapel and end at Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) office. Demonstrators plan to leave mock caskets and photos of deceased loved ones in front of the building.

McConnell said last week that Republicans have not yet felt the "urgency" to act quickly on another relief package, and that attitude does not seem to have changed even after House Democrats on Friday passed the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion bill that would extend beefed-up unemployment benefits, provide another round of one-time $1,200 direct stimulus payments, and authorize $1 trillion in funding for state and local governments.

Progressives criticized the bill as deeply flawed and inadequate to the scale of the crisis, but Republicans in Congress and the president have indicated that they are in no hurry to approve any additional aid.

"I'd put the chance of another bill right now at way less than 50 percent for the foreseeable future," Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Sunday. Earlier this month, Trump said he is in "no rush" to negotiate with Congress on another relief package.

Anonymous congressional sources told Politico that the "most likely" target date for passing additional Covid-19 legislation is July 4.

"The Republican Senate majority has no immediate plans to produce an alternative [to House Democrats' bill]," Politico reported. "Instead, senators are expected to consider a handful of lifetime judicial appointments this week and then head home for the Memorial Day recess."

In response to the GOP's refusal to quickly move ahead with additional economic elief, progressive activist Jordan Uhl tweeted Monday that "millions of people are suffering and Congress is just giving them the finger."

Instead of working on additional economic aid for people, Politico noted, McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are busy crafting legislation that would shield some businesses from legal responsibility for workers who contract Covid-19 on the job. McConnell has deemed liability protections for corporations his "red line" for any future relief bill.

"Millions of people are suffering and Congress is just giving them the finger."
—Jordan Uhl

"Nearly 90,000 deaths. Jobless claims are up over 30 million," tweeted Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio). "Not only are Senate Republicans refusing to consider the House-passed HEROES Act, they don't even have an alternate plan."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who criticized the HEROES Act as insufficient ahead of its passage last week, is calling on the Senate to take up the House bill and make improvements that ensure economic security and healthcare coverage for all during the Covid-19 emergency.

"People should not have to risk their lives and endanger their families to have income in a pandemic," Sanders tweeted Sunday. "One $1,200 check is not enough. We must ensure every person in this country receives $2,000 a month for the duration of this crisis."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·