COVID-19 HEALTH CRISIS – OPEN LETTER & CALL TO ACTION
President Donald J. Trump; Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez; Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman; Governor Phil Murphy; NJ Senator Kip Bateman; Assemblymen Andrew Zwicker and Roy Freiman; County Executive Brian Hughes; Freeholders Andrew Koontz, Samuel Frisby, Ann Cannon, John Cimino, Pat Colavita, Nina Melker and Lucylle Walter; Sheriff Jack Kemler.
The Princeton Community Democratic Organization urges our federal elected officials, together with our state elected officials and partners, to do all in their power to institute the following measures to help substantially reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. To support effective shelter in place orders in all 50 states and U.S. territories, and to ensure that measures which restrict personal liberty have adequate medical justification and serve the public health imperative at hand.
2. To fully utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA) and other measures to produce enough tests for all those exposed to COVID-19, and build capacity to provide results in a more timely and efficient manner.
3. To fully utilize the DPA to increase production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) needed by all front-line workers, first responders, patients, and those exposed to the virus, to reduce the exposure to Covid-19 and expedite the flattening of the curve of exposure. To expand DPA use to increase the production and distribution of ventilators to all 50 states in the most expeditious path forward possible to save the maximum amount of lives.
4. To appoint a qualified, nonpartisan executive (a Pandemic Czar) and support team of medical professionals to oversee the procurement and production of the tests, ventilators, and PPE, and to direct the supply and logistics necessary to distribute these in a rapid and targeted manner.
5. To create, under this pandemic team, a unified plan at the Federal level so that states work collaboratively rather than competing and bidding against each other for scarce resources.
6. To reinstate immediately the original definition and use of the “Strategic National Stockpile” to further support collaboration between states and to target much needed and scarce resource allocation on an “as needed” basis, devoid of political considerations.
7. To immediately release the following categories of prisoners and detainees: the elderly, people within months of release, people whose charges are misdemeanors or non-violent felonies, individuals with health risks, those waiting for asylum hearings or held solely for immigration charges, those whose crime involves no physical harm to another person, and those held on technical violations of probation or parole.