Statement from Matthew Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, regarding those who would put lives at risk by ignoring medical experts on PA Recovery:
On behalf of the 45,000 healthcare workers represented by SEIU Healthcare PA, caregivers who risk their lives and the lives of their families every day to combat this global pandemic, we support Governor Wolf’s responsible approach to Pennsylvania’s recovery, which is guided by science and medical experts.
We condemn any politician who risks public health and the lives of every Pennsylvanian by recklessly defying stay at home orders and social distancing precautions, the measures which allow us to control the contagion.
Frontline essential caregivers go to work every day wrapped in garbage bags and reusing single-use masks because they lack PPE, knowing they don’t have access to rapid, reliable testing, and going for weeks without paychecks when they need to quarantine because they are not being given paid sick time. We cannot afford a second surge without proper precautions in place.
Pennsylvania’s recovery cannot be based on politics and ideology. Every elected official has the responsibility to protect those in their communities, and that means listening to frontline healthcare workers and other medical experts about how we can safely recover. Pennsylvania needs:
- Permanent Preparedness for Healthcare Crises: Stockpiled personal protective equipment and widespread, rapid testing and contact tracing.
- Essential Benefits for Essential Workers: Paid sick time and essential worker pay.
- A Healthcare System Driven by Care, Not Profit: Safe patient limits for hospitals and nursing homes and fair funding for home care.
- A Strong and Respected Voice for Frontline Staff: Caregivers need a seat at every table where healthcare decisions are being made.
We cannot further burden our healthcare system or go back to the failed system that set the stage for what we are experiencing now. We will continue to advocate and fight for a more just healthcare system that protects all workers and those we care for.