The number of Georgians infected with coronavirus keeps growing each day and we continue to lack adequate testing, equipment and supplies across the state and across the country to fight the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, GOP Senators like David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler continue to defend Trump’s raiding of military projects for border wall construction amidst a global pandemic. Even with controversy swirling around her personal gain from stock trades, Sen. Loeffler seems to have no objection to Donald Trump’s request of $18.4 billion for border wall money that could be going to COVID-19 response. And Sen. Perdue has been silent too.
It’s clear that the national effort against COVID-19 should be our singular focus during these trying times. Yet President Trump’s border wall obsession continues, wasting precious resources that are critical to containing this epidemic.
As a must-read op-ed in The Hill from Gail Emrick published this week, executive director of the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center, reminds us:
The Trump administration has a staggering $18.4 billion border wall budget, most of it diverted from other federal agencies’ programs that are intended to protect national security. Wall construction money should instead be used to save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19.
At the same time, the administration has undermined our capacity to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak through staff and budget cuts. In 2018, the administration disbanded the National Security Council’s pandemic unit, and have also disastrously diminished the Center for Disease Control staffing.
Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice, said:
At a time of uncertainty and fear, Georgians expect elected officials to do everything they can to protect human life and help fight this pandemic. Instead, as the number of coronavirus infections keep growing, Senators Perdue and Loeffler continue to rubber-stamp President Trump’s wasteful border wall that has taken billions of dollars from emergency preparedness funds, including funds for the military and National Guard in Georgia, which are sorely needed today.
The border wall is a symbol of waste, fraud, and xenophobia. And the diversion of funds has created a Trump-Loeffler-Perdue healthcare crisis in Georgia. As the Trump administration remains “wary” over spending $1 billion for desperately needed ventilators in American communities, they want to spend almost twenty times that amount on an unnecessary border wall that won’t protect us from this virus. And where is Sen. Loeffler? Where is Sen. Perdue? They are not standing up to this administration or standing up for Georgians.
In times of crisis, we all need to come together, but Georgia’s Senators continue to allow the administration to push anti-immigrant rhetoric in order to distract Georgians from the utter failure of the Trump crisis response. Georgians and the country deserve better.