Report from the Front lines on covid-19
On March 27th at 10 am Put People First! PA held a virtual rally and demand delivery to Governor Wolf calling on the state to:
- Immediately re-open closed hospitals such as Hahnemann in Philadelphia, UPMC Pinnacle in Lancaster (Formerly St. Joseph’s), and UMPC Susquehanna Sunbury and keep them open after the crisis
- Immediate direct production of Personal Protective Equipment for all healthcare workers and frontline workers
- Immediately direct production of testing kits for everyone in PA
- Immediately apply for a federal waiver to expand Medicaid to cover ever resident of PA
- Immediately bring all private hospitals and healthcare facilities under public control for the duration of the crisis
Dozens of members from Wilkes Barre to Philadelphia to State College to the Mon Valley and everywhere in between joined the rally to break our isolation, share stories and make our voices heard! Stay tuned for more virtual actions and events! To read our full list of demands, and sign on as an individual or organization, visit: www.putpeoplefirstpa.org/coronavirus
The Lancaster HRC has been in the thick of the fight with battling the covid-19 pandemic. We have started a community Facebook discussion group to connect those in need to the needed resources available in the community and to share thoughts, concerns and political discussions and actions. We were able to get meals to those in need by partnering with Lancaster Food Not Bombs & Lancaster County Homeless Union on Saturday at Binns Park to share food, inform the unhoused on what is going on with the virus, resources they can utilize and how they can get join the movement. We also listened to their stories and connected with them on a deep level. We saw the pain and fear these beautiful people have. We are continuing to connect with the community through digital base building organizing. Many wonderful people are coming our way. They are beginning to see why we have fought so hard for the old St. Joe’s hospital. They are becoming aware of the pitfalls of a system that puts money over people. It is time for us all to stand together. —Matthew, CoCoordinator Lancaster HRC
As the pandemic has pushed many of Philadelphia’s residents indoors, members of our HRC are hard at work building a political center of gravity in our region. A big part of our work has involved connecting with our contacts in the region and making sure we are collectively able to meet our needs, and providing contacts with information about the virus and opportunities to connect to our organization. Our base is outraged at the response of the powers-that-be to this coronavirus crisis, and people are fired up about fighting back!
Thursday, members of the HRC are taking action at Hahnemann Hospital in order to expose the profiteering healthcare system that is set up to allow the ruling class to hold a hospital for ransom. We are calling on the Mayor and Governor to take extraordinary measures and seize Hahnemann from Joel Freedman–the real estate developer who bought the hospital to shut it down and flip it for a profit–and operate it as a public hospital immediately. In this time, when so many communities across the state are losing hospitals because of the greed of real estate tycoons and huge corporations, we are raising our voices to say that no one should be able to hoard a hospital, especially not when our city’s healthcare system is overwhelmed.
— Iaan and Jae, Co-Coordinators, Philly HRC