Senate Democrats introduced a resolution Wednesday that would set aside a day in March as an annual “memorial day” for “COVID-19 victims and survivors.”
Democratic Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were joined by Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico in calling for the creation of a day every year in which people who have died during or otherwise been affected by the coronavirus pandemic are remembered.
A media release issued by Markey’s office said the resolution would “memorialize those lost to the COVID-19 virus and recognize the suffering of COVID-19 survivors.”
“The resolution would designate the first Monday in March as ‘COVID–19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day,’” the media release added.
In a statement, Markey said the resolution is meant to both memorialize those lost and remind people that they are suffering “together” with him and others.
“More than 613,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, including more than 18,000 people in Massachusetts. Families across the country have mourned the loss of a loved one, buried a friend, or coped with the death of a partner because of this horrific disease,” Markey said in a statement.
“We owe these families the honor and recognition they deserve, and by marking COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day, we will annually remind ourselves of the deadly cost of this pandemic while reaffirming our commitment to getting through this crisis together,” the Massachusetts Democrat added.
Warren also released a statement.
“Our hearts hurt from everything and everyone that this pandemic has stolen from us, and that’s why I’m introducing this resolution with Senators Markey and Heinrich — to remember the family, friends, and neighbors we loved and those who continue to be affected by this unprecedented pandemic,” Warren said.
In a statement of his own, Heinrich took note of the 4,415 COVID deaths reported in New Mexico.
“New Mexicans have lost 4,415 family members and friends to COVID-19 already, and the loss grows each day,” Heinrich said. “We need this official memorial day to honor the memory of those we’ve lost, acknowledge the continuing grief felt by their loved ones, and recognize those still coping with the long-term effects of the virus. I’m proud to be a part of the effort to make this happen.”
The media release put out by the three senators, one of them who represents a border state, blamed the coronavirus for almost 35 million infections, and claimed the public health crisis had particularly harmed poor and minority Americans.
“Nearly thirty five million people have been infected in the United States, and more than 600,000 have tragically lost their lives. COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color, with higher infection and fatality rates, exacerbating inequities already prevalent in our systems that must be addressed,” the release said.
The Democratic lawmakers made no mention of cases being potentially spread by illegal immigrants as the country’s southern border essentially remains open.
One U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told the Examiner earlier this week that migrants are “moved out of custody quickly,” and that if they are “infected and do not have obvious symptoms, they are sent out.”
Currently, there is no requirement mandating that migrants who are encountered at the border be tested, the outlet reported. At least 120,000 migrants have been released into the country since February.
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