Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin hosted a roundtable on the issues facing essential workers in Nebraska and the Midwest during the COVID-19 crisis, joined by Douglas County Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cavanaugh and essential workers and moderated by Nebraska State Education Association President Jenni Benson. The participants discussed the lack of access to personal protective equipment for essential workers, the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on women and communities of color, and the failure in response by the Trump administration to help and equip essential workers, especially those dealing with COVID-19 patients.

“Like every state, we have been heavily impacted by the fact that President Trump has not federalized the medical supply chain and people have struggled with the lack of personal protective equipment in all essential work,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “There’s been a failure of leadership with this president and it is certainly one of the reasons why I’m supporting Joe Biden for President. His recovery plans during a crisis are tried and true and his approach is science-driven and evidence-driven, and would have put us in a very different situation than the one we are in today.

“Biden has had a life that has involved loss — his wife and child, and then an adult child. He had a childhood where his father lost a job and they had to move and start over. The empathy is genuine and it’s not manufactured for this moment. He’s also had on-the-job experience, whether it was authorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which put a strong focus on the safety and health of women, or his experience as Vice President through the Great Recession and helping put together a framework to rebuild our country after the loss of trillions of dollars. At a time when we’re seeing Trump and an abject lack of leadership, it’s such a strong contrast.”

“I have always believed that Vice President Biden’s leadership is desperately needed to get out of the current health crisis and also deal with its economic impact,” said Douglas County Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cavanaugh. “We need someone who can empathize with the working people of this country and doesn’t think 60,000 deaths is a victory. I’ve never seen someone express more empathy and with intelligence and the backing of science than Vice President Biden expresses.”

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