Things That Matter

Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

In Joe Biden’s recent CNN-moderated town hall meeting, an undecided voter described her mother’s health problems and ensuing financial struggles. 

“My mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma  two years ago at the age of 66,” said the woman. “The cost of her care has been astronomical. However, my family has been fortunate that both she and my father have long careers at good companies that afforded them the opportunity to save for retirement, which is helping to pay for her care.”

The undecided voter then posed a question to Joe Biden: “What is your plan to make healthcare affordable so Americans don’t need to drain their savings?”

Biden, as usual, responded with passion. “What I would do is make sure we reinstate the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “And add the public option to that so that nobody in the United States of America would go without being able to be covered for what they need.” He added, “Healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a right”. 

The undecided voter Biden spoke with isn’t the only one worried about the costs associated with healthcare. Latinos are worried too. 

Like 25-year-old Isabella Prado (a third generation Mexican-American) of Denver, Colorado, who doesn’t know what her health insurance plan is once she turns 26 and is no longer on her mom’s Medicaid plan. “I’m not even that old but I’m already having problems,” she told Mitú. “And I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, what am I going to do when I don’t have health insurance?”

Latino voters, by and large, seem to agree with Prado’s concerns. In a survey conducted by Telemundo in conjunction with Buzzfeed, it was found that 51% of Latino voters between the ages of 18 and 35 said that “affordable healthcare for all” is one of the motivating factors behind their desire to vote. 

Prado explained to Mitú that she believes healthcare is a right. “Somebody doesn’t choose to be unhealthy, or choose to have cancer or choose to have psychological problems. That’s not a choice,” she explained. “Because somebody can’t afford healthcare, they deserve to die? Or somebody with cancer and they can’t afford the treatment?”

The Trump Administration and the Republican Party have made it abundantly clear that they do not believe healthcare is a universal right. 

“America didn’t become great through handouts,” Trump told Bloomberg Politics in 2016. “You have some guy with no college degree working a minimum wage job; no ambition, no goals, nothing to show for it. Yet for some reason, the [Obama] administration believes he – and millions of people like him, should have access to health insurance. It’s outrageous.”

As Biden further explained in his Town Hall meeting, now is not the time to be taking access to affordable healthcare lightly. “In the middle of this pandemic, what’s the president doing? He’s in federal court trying to do away with the Affordable Care Act.”  

Prado also agreed that President Trump’s failure to lead America effectively through the COVID-19 crisis is unforgivable. 

“It’s honestly disgusting,” she told Mitú. “For someone like my mom who has preexisting health conditions, who has heart failure, her life literally depends on people taking this seriously. When the leader of your country doesn’t even take it seriously, how is anybody else supposed to?”

Biden agrees, explaining in his town hall meeting that the devastating impact of COVID-19 proves, without a doubt, that the time to expand access to affordable healthcare is now. 

“We have to make sure…that any costs relating to COVID are, in fact, free. [And that] the Federal Government guarantees it,” Biden said. “One of the reasons why people aren’t going in and getting tested is because they’re afraid of the bill they’re going to receive. They’re afraid of what’s going to happen.”

As voters from marginalized communities, it can be easy to feel helplessness when these major issues loom large. But it is worth repeating: your vote does matter. 

Togethers, Millenials and Gen Zers make up 37% of eligible voters, surpassing the electorate of Baby Boomers. Latinos are the largest ethnic minority in the United States, making up 13.3% of all eligible voters.The future is in our hands. Some elections are razor-thin, relying on swing states like Florida or Arizona to determine their outcomes.

The time to create a voting plan–whether it’s early voting, mail-in voting, or in-person voting the day-of–is now. If you support expanded access to affordable healthcare coverage, voting early is a great way to show your support.

Go to IWillVote.com or VoyaVotar.com and text TODOS to 30330 today to learn what voting choices you have in your community and get information on where and when to vote. Every single one of us needs to do our part. The future depends on it.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Things That Matter

As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Starting today, everyone 16 and older can get in line for the Coronavirus vaccine. This is a huge milestone that has been months in the making after a very ambitious plan by the Biden administration.

But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, many have been wondering what the vaccine program will look like – especially since nearly everyone is now eligible to receive a shot in the arm.

As of Monday, anyone 16 and over is technically eligible to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday, every state in the U.S. expanded its vaccine eligibility to include all adults over the age of 16, meeting President Biden’s deadline which he established two weeks ago.

The country is now administering 3.2 million doses a day on average, and half of all adults have now received at least one dose. Additionally, 84.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated against the disease. These are truly encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic but a lot of uncertainty remains.

Ok but can I get a shot?

Technically, yes, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine but your access to it really varies from state to state.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., were the last to open up eligibility on Monday, after other states expanded access to the general public over the past month.

If the country’s present vaccination rate continues, 70% of the total U.S. population could be vaccinated by June 17 and 90% by July 25, the New York Times has projected. That timeline will likely depend on what happens with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, as distribution is now paused following reports of blood clots, despite being statistically extremely rare.

So, what’s going on with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that he believed the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will likely be lifted on Friday. During interviews on talk shows, Fauci stated that he expected federal health officials to decide on the vaccine’s future by the end of the week and that he did not anticipate the vaccine being permanently banned.

One alternative to banning is to limit who is able to receive the one dose shot, perhaps limiting it to males over the age of 50. This is how Europe adjusted its strategy following similar blood clotting issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was created using similar methods.

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Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Photo via Getty Images

While the United States is as of publication, has vaccinated over 75 million people against COVID-19 since mid-December, the rest of the world is still catching up. Poorer countries, for example, are struggling to procure enough vaccines for essential workers–let alone their entire population.

Luckily, certain charitable business are making it their mission to get vaccines to the most needy. For example, anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has organized a charity concert with the aim of getting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

Selena Gomez will be hosting the concert, called “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”. And none other than Jennifer Lopez will be headlining.

Selena Gomez took to Twitter to announce her involvement in the exciting project. “I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,’ ” she wrote.

“This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jennifer Lopez also took to Twitter to announce her involvement with VAX Live, saying that she is “calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for all”. That’s a statement we can get behind!

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only superstar performing. Other acts will include J Balvin, H.E.R., and the Foo Fighters.

Global Citizen has one goal: to raise $22 billion for global vaccinations via corporate and philanthropic donors. They’re hoping VAX Live will bring awareness to their efforts.

“There are 27 million healthcare workers globally who don’t have access to the vaccine,” said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to the Associated Press. “I’m 38 years old, and it’s not ethical for me to have access to the vaccine before these heroic first responders and community health workers. So we need governments to start urgently donating those doses.”

Tom Hart, the executive director for another anti-poverty organization, The ONE Campaign, also reiterated the importance of getting vaccine doses into the hands of developing countries.

“Low-income countries not only need this welcome fundraising effort; they need access to COVID-19 vaccine doses,” Tom Hart said.

“The United States has secured over 550 million excess doses that could be used to help end the global pandemic faster.”

You can catch VAX LIVE on ABC, CBS, and iHeartMedia stations on 8:00 p.m. ET on May 8th. It will also be airing on Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same day. You’ll also be able to catch an extended version on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel on May 8th as well.

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