Amnesty International, USA, May 19, 2020.
Governments and communities across the world are grappling with the immediate and longer-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everyone in the United States is impacted by this and many are experiencing hardship, sacrifice, illness or devastating loss as a result of this virus. Yet some of us are affected much more deeply as our country’s long-standing inequalities—including by gender, by race and by class—shape everything from who performs the “essential” functions of the economy to which communities suffer the greatest loss of life. Our inequalities, which dictate so much of the fabric of everyday life, are magnified during this crisis. We need a people-centered response to COVID-19 that protects us all, and at the same time, also explicitly addresses our nation’s long-standing inequalities.
How we respond now to COVID-19 will determine not only our ability to survive—but whether or not we all can finally all thrive. The U.S. government’s response to COVID-19 must center human rights at all stages of the crisis—prevention, preparedness, containment, treatment and recovery—in order to best protect public health and support people who are most at risk.