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Hold Your Senators Accountable on Their Dirty Oil Vote

Energy

National Wildlife Federation

By Robyn Carmichael

On March 22, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Hoeven’s amendment 62-37, a non-binding amendment that expresses support for building the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline–despite the projects’ devastating impacts on the climate crisis and wildlife including woodland caribou. While the vote is meaningless and the final decision on the pipeline remains with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, these senators need to be held accountable for their irresponsible misuse of the federal budget process to approve Big Oil’s dirty energy projects.

Watch Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation, as he reacts to the vote from the Platte River in Nebraska–a vital stopover for hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes threatened by toxic oil spills from Keystone XL:

At a time of record-breaking temperatures and increasingly devastating extreme weather events, our leaders need to stand up against dirty and dangerous energy projects. With your voice today, we can hold the senators accountable who sided with Big Oil over their constituents interests.

On Twitter?

Find your senators in the list below and remind them that Americans don’t want the Keystone XL pipeline by tweeting them:

STATEU.S. SENATORVOTE (Yes=supports pipeline)Sample Tweet
AKMark BegichYes.@SenatorBegich I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
AKLisa MurkowskiYes.@lisamurkowski I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ALJeff SessionsYes.@SenatorSessions I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ALRichard ShelbyYes.@SenShelbyPress I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ARJohn BoozmanYes.@JohnBoozman I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ARMark PryorYes.@SenMarkPryor I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
AZJeff FlakeYes.@JeffFlake I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
AZJohn McCainYes.@SenJohnMcCain I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
CABarbara BoxerNo.@SenatorBoxer Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
CADiane FeinsteinNo.@SenFeinstein Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
COMichael BennetYes.@SenBennetCO I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
COTom UdallNo.@MarkUdall Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
CTRichard BlumenthalNo.@SenBlumenthal Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
CTChris MurphyNo.@ChrisMurphyCT Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
DEThomas CarperYes.@SenatorCarper I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
DEChris CoonsYes.@ChrisCoons I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
FLBill NelsonYes.@SenBillNelson I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
FLMarco RubioYes.@marcorubio I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
GASaxby ChamblissYes.@SaxbyChambliss I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
GAJohnny IsaksonYes.@SenatorIsakson I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
HIMazie HironoNo.@maziehirono Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
HIBrian SchatzNo.@brianschatz Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
IACharles GrassleyYes.@ChuckGrassley I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
IATom HarkinNo.@SenatorHarkin Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
IDMichael CrapoYes.@MikeCrapo I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
IDJim RischYes.@SenatorRisch I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ILRichard DurbinNo.@SenatorDurbin Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ILMark KirkYes.@SenatorKirk I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
INDaniel CoatsYes.@SenDanCoats I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
INJoe DonnellyYes.@SenDonnelly I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
KSJerry MoranYes.@JerryMoran I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
KSPat RobertsYes.@SenPatRoberts I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
KYMitch McConnellYes.@McConnellPress I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
KYRand PaulYes.@SenRandPaul I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
LAMary LandrieuYes.@SenLandrieu I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
LADavid VitterYes.@DavidVitter I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MAMo CowanNo.@mocowan Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MAElizabeth WarrenNo.@SenWarren Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MDBenjamin CardinNo.@SenatorCardin Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MDBarbara MikulskiNo.@SenatorBarb Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MESusan CollinsYes.@SenatorCollins I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MEAngus KingNo@SenAngusKing Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MICarl LevinNo.@SenCarlLevin Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MIDebbie StabenowNo.@StabenowPress Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MNAl FrankenNo.@alfranken Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MNAmy KlobucharNo.@amyklobuchar Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MORoy BluntYes.@RoyBlunt I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MOClaire McCaskillYes@clairecmc I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MSThad CochranYes.@SenThadCochran I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MSRoger WickerYes.@SenatorWicker I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MTMax BaucusYes.@maxbaucus I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
MTJon TesterYes.@jontester I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NCRichard BurrYes.@SenatorBurr I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NCKay HaganYes.@SenatorHagan I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NDHeidi HeitkampYes.@SenatorHeitkamp I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NDJohn HoevenYes.@SenJohnHoeven I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NEDeb FischerYes.@SenatorFischer I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NEMike JohannsYes.@Mike_Johanns I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NHKelly AyotteYes.@KellyAyotte I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NHJeanne ShaheenNo.@senatorshaheen Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NJFrank LautenbergDid Not Vote
NJRobert MenendezNo.@SenatorMenendez Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NMMartin HeinrichNo.@MartinHeinrich Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NMTom UdallNo.@SenatorTomUdall Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NVDean HellerYes.@SenDeanHeller I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NVHarry ReidNo.@SenatorReid Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NYKirsten GillibrandNo.@SenGillibrand Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
NYCharles SchumerNo.@ChuckSchumer Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
OHSherrod BrownNo.@SenSherrodBrown Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
OHRob PortmanYes.@robportman I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
OKTom CoburnYes.@TomCoburn I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
OKJames InhofeYes.@jiminhofe I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ORJeff MerkleyNo.@SenJeffMerkley Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
ORRon WydenNo.@RonWyden Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXLL Tweet it!
PABob CaseyYes.@SenBobCasey I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
PAPatrick ToomeyYes.@SenToomey I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
RIJack ReedNo.@SenJackReed Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
RISheldon WhitehouseNo.@SenWhitehouse Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
SCLindsey GrahamYes.@GrahamBlog I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
SCTim ScottYes.@SenatorTimScott I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
SDTim JohnsonYes.@SenJohnsonSD I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
SDJohn ThuneYes.@SenJohnThune I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
TNLamar AlexanderYes.@SenAlexander I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
TNBob CorkerYes.@SenBobCorker I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
TXJohn CornynYes.@JohnCornyn I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
TXTed CruzYes.@SenTedCruz I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
UTOrrin HatchYes.@SenOrrinHatch I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
UTMike LeeYes.@SenMikeLee I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
VATim KaineNo.@timkaine Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
VAMark WarnerYes.@MarkWarner I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
VTPatrick LeahyNo.@SenatorLeahy Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
VTBernard SandersNo.@SenatorSanders Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WAMaria CantwellNo.@MariaCantwell Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WAPatty MurrayNo.@PattyMurray Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WITammy BaldwinNo@senatorbaldwin Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WIRon JohnsonYes.@SenRonJohnson I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WVJoe ManchinYes.@Sen_JoeManchin I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WVJohn RockefellerNo.@SenRockefeller Thank you for siding with your constituents over Big Oil by voting against #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WYJohn BarrassoYes.@SenJohnBarrasso I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!
WYMike EnziYes.@SenatorEnzi I’m extremely disappointed you sided with Big Oil over your constituents by voting to support #KeystoneXL Tweet it!

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE and  KEYSTONE XL pages for more related news on this topic.

——–

 

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The patient in the case report (let's call him Tom) was 54 and in good health. For two days in May, he felt unwell and was too weak to get out of bed. When his family finally brought him to the hospital, doctors found that he had a fever and signs of a severe infection, or sepsis. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection. In addition to symptoms of COVID-19, he was also too weak to move his legs.

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We are neurologists specializing in intensive care and leading studies related to neurological complications from COVID-19. Given the occurrence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in prior pandemics with other corona viruses like SARS and MERS, we are investigating a possible link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and COVID-19 and tracking published reports to see if there is any link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and COVID-19.

Some patients may not seek timely medical care for neurological symptoms like prolonged headache, vision loss and new muscle weakness due to fear of getting exposed to virus in the emergency setting. People need to know that medical facilities have taken full precautions to protect patients. Seeking timely medical evaluation for neurological symptoms can help treat many of these diseases.

What Is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the body's own immune system attacks and injures the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain – the peripheral nervous system. Most commonly, the injury involves the protective sheath, or myelin, that wraps nerves and is essential to nerve function.

Without the myelin sheath, signals that go through a nerve are slowed or lost, which causes the nerve to malfunction.

To diagnose Guillain-Barre Syndrome, neurologists perform a detailed neurological exam. Due to the nerve injury, patients often may have loss of reflexes on examination. Doctors often need to perform a lumbar puncture, otherwise known as spinal tap, to sample spinal fluid and look for signs of inflammation and abnormal antibodies.

Studies have shown that giving patients an infusion of antibodies derived from donated blood or plasma exchange – a process that cleans patients' blood of harmful antibodies - can speed up recovery. A very small subset of patients may need these therapies long-term.

The majority of Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients improve within a few weeks and eventually can make a full recovery. However, some patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome have lingering symptoms including weakness and abnormal sensations in arms and/or legs; rarely patients may be bedridden or disabled long-term.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Pandemics

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, many neurologic specialists have been on the lookout for potentially serious nervous system complications such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Though Guillain-Barre Syndrome is rare, it is well known to emerge following bacterial infections, such as Campylobacter jejuni, a common cause of food poisoning, and a multitude of viral infections including the flu virus, Zika virus and other coronaviruses.

Studies showed an increase in Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases following the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, suggesting a possible connection. The presumed cause for this link is that the body's own immune response to fight the infection turns on itself and attacks the peripheral nerves. This is called an "autoimmune" condition. When a pandemic affects as many people as our current COVID-19 crisis, even a rare complication can become a significant public health problem. That is especially true for one that causes neurological dysfunction where the recovery takes a long time and may be incomplete.

The first reports of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in COVID-19 pandemic originated from Italy, Spain and China, where the pandemic surged before the U.S. crisis.

Though there is clear clinical suspicion that COVID-19 can lead to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, many important questions remain. What are the chances that someone gets Guillain-Barre Syndrome during or following a COVID-19 infection? Does Guillain-Barre Syndrome happen more often in those who have been infected with COVID-19 compared to other types of infections, such as the flu?

The only way to get answers is through a prospective study where doctors perform systematic surveillance and collect data on a large group of patients. There are ongoing large research consortia hard at work to figure out answers to these questions.

Understanding the Association Between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barre Syndrome

While large research studies are underway, overall it appears that Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare but serious phenomenon possibly linked to COVID-19. Given that more than 10.7 million cases have been reported for COVID-19, there have been 10 reported cases of COVID-19 patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome so far – only two reported cases in the U.S., five in Italy, two cases in Iran and one from Wuhan, China.

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Due to the pandemic and infection-containment considerations, diagnostic tests, such as a nerve conduction study that used to be routine for patients with suspected Guillain-Barre Syndrome, are more difficult to do. In both U.S. cases, the initial diagnosis and treatment were all based on clinical examination by a neurological experts rather than any tests. Both patients survived but with significant residual weakness at the time these case reports came out, but that is not uncommon for Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients. The road to recovery may sometimes be long, but many patients can make a full recovery with time.

Though the reported cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome so far all have severe symptoms, this is not uncommon in a pandemic situation where the less sick patients may stay home and not present for medical care for fear of being exposed to the virus. This, plus the limited COVID-19 testing capability across the U.S., may skew our current detection of Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases toward the sicker patients who have to go to a hospital. In general, the majority of Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients do recover, given enough time. We do not yet know whether this is true for COVID-19-related cases at this stage of the pandemic. We and colleagues around the world are working around the clock to find answers to these critical questions.

Sherry H-Y. Chou is an Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh.

Aarti Sarwal is an Associate Professor, Neurology, Wake Forest University.

Neha S. Dangayach is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Disclosure statement: Sherry H-Y. Chou receives funding from The University of Pittsburgh Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the National Institute of Health, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean's Faculty Advancement Award. Sherry H-Y. Chou is a member of Board of Directors for the Neurocritical Care Society. Neha S. Dangayach receives funding from the Bee Foundation, the Friedman Brain Institute, the Neurocritical Care Society, InCHIP-UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Seed Grant. She is faculty for emcrit.org and for AiSinai. Aarti Sarwal does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Reposted with permission from The Conversation.


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Unity Task Forces formed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled sweeping party platform recommendations Wednesday that—while falling short of progressive ambitions in a number of areas, from climate to healthcare—were applauded as important steps toward a bold and just policy agenda that matches the severity of the moment.

"We've moved the needle a lot, especially on environmental justice and upping Biden's ambition," said Sunrise Movement co-founder and executive director Varshini Prakash, a member of the Biden-Sanders Climate Task Force. "But there's still more work to do to push Democrats to act at the scale of the climate crisis."

The climate panel—co-chaired by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State John Kerry—recommended that the Democratic Party commit to "eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035," massively expanding investments in clean energy sources, and "achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings by 2030."

In a series of tweets Wednesday night, Ocasio-Cortez—the lead sponsor of the House Green New Deal resolution—noted that the Climate Task Force "shaved 15 years off Biden's previous target for 100% clean energy."

"Of course, like in any collaborative effort, there are areas of negotiation and compromise," said the New York Democrat. "But I do believe that the Climate Task Force effort meaningfully and substantively improved Biden's positions."

 

The 110 pages of policy recommendations from the six eight-person Unity Task Forces on education, the economy, criminal justice, immigration, climate change, and healthcare are aimed at shaping negotiations over the 2020 Democratic platform at the party's convention next month.

Sanders said that while the "end result isn't what I or my supporters would've written alone, the task forces have created a good policy blueprint that will move this country in a much-needed progressive direction and substantially improve the lives of working families throughout our country."

"I look forward to working with Vice President Biden to help him win this campaign," the Vermont senator added, "and to move this country forward toward economic, racial, social, and environmental justice."

Biden, for his part, applauded the task forces "for helping build a bold, transformative platform for our party and for our country."

"I am deeply grateful to Bernie Sanders for working with us to unite our party and deliver real, lasting change for generations to come," said the former vice president.

On the life-or-death matter of reforming America's dysfunctional private health insurance system—a subject on which Sanders and Biden clashed repeatedly throughout the Democratic primary process—the Unity Task Force affirmed healthcare as "a right" but did not embrace Medicare for All, the signature policy plank of the Vermont senator's presidential bid.

Instead, the panel recommended building on the Affordable Care Act by establishing a public option, investing in community health centers, and lowering prescription drug costs by allowing the federal government to negotiate prices. The task force also endorsed making all Covid-19 testing, treatments, and potential vaccines free and expanding Medicaid for the duration of the pandemic.

"It has always been a crisis that tens of millions of Americans have no or inadequate health insurance—but in a pandemic, it's potentially catastrophic for public health," the task force wrote.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a former Michigan gubernatorial candidate and Sanders-appointed member of the Healthcare Task Force, said that despite major disagreements, the panel "came to recommendations that will yield one of the most progressive Democratic campaign platforms in history—though we have further yet to go."

 

Observers and advocacy groups also applauded the Unity Task Forces for recommending the creation of a postal banking system, endorsing a ban on for-profit charter schools, ending the use of private prisons, and imposing a 100-day moratorium on deportations "while conducting a full-scale study on current practices to develop recommendations for transforming enforcement policies and practices at ICE and CBP."

Marisa Franco, director of immigrant rights group Mijente, said in a statement that "going into these task force negotiations, we knew we were going to have to push Biden past his comfort zone, both to reconcile with past offenses and to carve a new path forward."

"That is exactly what we did, unapologetically," said Franco, a member of the Immigration Task Force. "For years, Mijente, along with the broader immigrant rights movement, has fought to reshape the narrative around immigration towards racial justice and to focus these very demands. We expect Biden and the Democratic Party to implement them in their entirety."

"There is no going back," Franco added. "Not an inch, not a step. We must only move forward from here."

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.