TRANSCRIPT: Warren Remarks at Senate Democrats Press Conference on Republicans' COVID-19 Proposal
"Americans are out of work, families are hungry, and the Republicans can only talk about releasing a liability for giant corporations no matter how reckless they are. They can only talk about how to divert money from public schools into private schools." Warren was asked about her new USPS report with Casey: "I blame the Postmaster General for the delays in prescription deliveries that put the health of the American people at risk."
Washington, DC - Today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Robert Casey (D-Pa.) called on Senate Republicans to do their job and pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package instead of their meager proposal that does not match the scope of the massive health and economic crisis we're facing.
Senator Warren also talked about her exchange with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins at the HELP hearing today about President Trump politicizing the vaccine effort: "The American people deserve a safe and effective vaccine and they deserve a government that is moving only toward that not influenced by the politics of Donald Trump who pushes only for his own protection."
Senator Warren: Thank you very much for having me here today, Leader Schumer and thank you. It's always good to be here. With Senator Casey, we've partnered up on a lot of other stuff and it's nice to be in this fight alongside you. The American people are facing twin threats. Threats to our health and threats to our economy. Right now, nearly 200,000 people have died from coronavirus and more than 10% of workers in the United States are unemployed. What is Mitch McConnell's response to this? For more than three months he has ignored the proposal that the Democrats passed through the House and have offered here in the Senate. And finally has come up with a bill that he intends to bring to the floor and what's in that bill? Well, what matters most is what's not in that bill. There's not a single penny to help tenants - people who are being moved out of their homes from evictions at a time when we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is no help to feed hungry families. There is no help for state and local governments: state and local government that's trying to support our schools, that's trying to support public safety, that's trying to support public health. There's not enough help for schools that are trying to find a way to reopen safely. There is not enough help for safe elections. We're bearing down on November 3rd. There is no help for worker safety, for people who are being forced into working conditions that put themselves and their families at risk. But this bill has two features that the Republicans want to push. The first is to release liability for giant corporations when people get sick no matter how reckless the actions are of those corporations. Mitch McConnell says they should get a free pass. That's not going to make anybody in this country safer. The second is to say let's funnel money, desperately needed money, out of public schools and into private schools. That's not going to help our children safely get back to school and get the education that they are entitled to. This is about Donald Trump, but it is also about Senate Republicans, who have for years now, enabled Donald Trump. Even in the vaccine area, as he has pushed politics into the whole development of vaccines and trying to get us safe from the COVID virus, the Senate Republicans have backed him up on this. Just this morning we had a hearing in the Health Education Labor and Pensions committee, I asked Dr. Collins, the head of NIH, about what the effect was of having someone like Donald Trump, who stands up and touts conspiracy theories. Who talks about a deep state at the FDA. What that does for the likelihood even if we're able to develop a vaccine in order to protect people, what it does to the likelihood that people will be unwilling to go out and get vaccinated. And Dr. Collins said he hopes that the American people will listen to the scientists and the physicians and not to the politicians. Well, I hope that Dr. Collins is right. The American people deserve a safe and effective vaccine and they deserve a government that is moving only toward that not influenced by the politics of Donald Trump who pushes only for his own protection. So, I'm glad to be here today to talk about this but you know, you just reach a point in this where you want to say what's wrong with these people? Americans are dying across this country, Americans are out of work, families are hungry and the Republicans can only talk about releasing a liability for giant corporations no matter how reckless they are. They can only talk about how to divert money from public schools into private schools. It is time for the Republicans in the Senate to live up to their responsibilities to the American people. To set politics aside and to put the health and economic wellbeing of the American people at the forefront.
Reporter: Senator Warren, you released a report today that prescription drugs have slivered as much of a third this summer? Do you blame this solely on Mr. DeJoy or are there other causes at play?
Senator Warren: So, this is a study-- the study you're referring to is one that I did with Senator Casey and what we focused on were people who are getting their prescriptions by mail. And we just asked the principal providers in this country what's happening and they have said that since DeJoy came in that the delivery times for prescription drugs have dropped measurably. And the consequences of this is both a threat to the health of people who rely on receiving their drugs by mail. It makes it harder for them to stay in compliance and that it's driving up costs for the providers because they've had to resend prescriptions, had to send prescriptions by express mail, and ultimately, those costs will likely be passed on to either the patients or to the federal government.
DeJoy is the one who is responsible for the changes in the Post Office. Now let's be clear. More people have moved to receiving their prescriptions by mail since COVID-19 hit and that quite reasonably would have put some stress on the Post Office, but the response to that should be to put more resources in so that the Post Office could maintain on time deliveries. Instead, DeJoy's position was to cut resources, cut the mechanisms by which the mail is delivered on time. He's gone in exactly the opposite direction. So, that was a long way to get around to the point that yes, I blame the Postmaster General for the delays in prescription deliveries that put the health of the American people at risk. Once again, I call on the Board of Governors to reverse what he has done, to step up and do their jobs. They should remove the Postmaster General, and they should be reversing the actions that he's taken and put the resources in needed to be able to get deliveries on time.
I understand that DeJoy is there to try to help Donald Trump, and he thinks that if they can provide more tangle between now and November 3rd that maybe some number of people will decide not to vote by mail and maybe won't vote at all. I mean, let's face it, the Republicans have decided voter suppression is one of the principle ways that they may have a shot at winning in November. So, DeJoy has clearly been handmaiden to Donald Trump in this. But the American people have seen it, and they don't like it in terms of voting, but it also has other consequences that they're feeling directly in their health and well-being. And that means it's time to put a stop to it. And that's what we're here for. Bobby, do you want to add anything, please?
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