By Richard Hack
LGBTQ Loyalty sponsored the Bloomsberg Virtual Equality Briefing last Wednesday on the fallout from the current COVID-19 pandemic titled “Who Gets Care in a Crisis?” As participants Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan and Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot agreed, the virus makes the rules and certain groups are at a huge disadvantage during a pandemic: small businesses, people of color, single women, and members of the LGBTQ community.
“We cannot rely that the Federal Government Cavalry is going to be on the next hill to save us,” Mayor Lightfoot stressed. “That’s not been true at all in this pandemic; it’s not going to be true going on in the future.” Pointing to the complete failure of the government on a Federal level in both economic relief and health care supplies and policy, Lightfoot said that from the very start of the pandemic it was clear that states and cities needed action immediately and they had to rely on themselves to accomplish it. “We didn’t have time to sort out the political tea leaves,” she said.
Former Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius added that the current status of pitting Republican governors against Democratic governors is not only unheard of in her experience, but a self-defeating politicizing of the pandemic. She criticized the Federal government’s failure to bring America together.
CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband was more direct. He said that Washington, DC’s antics and failure to lead the richest country in the world in this health crisis has created a vacuum among world leaders and left a gaping opportunity for China to step into the role.
Both mayors Durkan and Lightfoot are members of the LGBTQ community.