UPDATES: Democratic Attorneys General Leadership in Addressing COVID-19

March 20, 2020

Democratic AGs Taking Necessary Steps to Protect the People

As the country continues to grapple with the spread of Covid-19, many communities are struggling to address the needs for testing and paid sick leave and to navigate many aspects of our healthcare system.

Last week, DAGA circulated this memo highlighting Democratic AG leadership during this time of crisis.

Here are some important updates on how Democratic AGs are fighting in the states:

  • SUPPORTING WORKERS:
    • California AG Xavier Becerra, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, and New York AG Tish James sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding his administration take immediate action on the manufacturing of additional safety materials (masks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves). The letter urged the federal government to mobilize the business community to launch an initiative immediately to  shift existing domestic manufacturing capacity to produce personal protective equipment to keep healthcare workers safe amid the COVID-19 emergency.
    • Democratic AGs from coast-to-coast are working with Governors and other state leaders to ensure workers have access to paid-leave and unemployment benefits during this time of crisis.
  • PROTECTING SNAP BENEFITS: A coalition of Dem AGs led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine and New York AG Tish James won a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s attempt to kick more than 700,000 off the SNAP program. This means more people will have access to needed resources as we all continue to work through this global pandemic together.
  • COMBATING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE ASIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY: Amid a national crisis, there has been a shocking uptick in discrimination against Asian-Americans and many of their businesses, including violent attacks and other racially-motivated crimes. Sadly, the Trump administration is now using racist and xenophobic language to describe the disease. In response, Dem AGs are calling out this kind of dangerous behavior and rhetoric, and providing resources for those facing discrimination.

This is a snapshot of the incredible work Dem AGs are doing to keep our families and communities safe. In addition to the highlights above, Dem AGs:

  • Continue to provide guidance to government agencies on how to address Open Meeting Acts & Sunshine Laws in this new environment;
  • Urge utility companies to postpone late payment fees and service shut-offs;
  • Pursue individuals and bad actors who are price-gouging consumers; and
  • Work with the courts and the criminal justice system to guarantee both justice and fairness through the courts during this emergency.

For more on Democratic AG leadership during this challenging time, follow along on DAGA’s social media accounts linked here: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.