Dear editor,

The following is an open letter to my representatives:

I am writing to express my sharp disappointment with the stimulus package's extra $600 weekly offered to unemployed workers during the COVID-19 crisis. While I understand that this gesture is meant to help those who find themselves unemployed during this time, it inadvertently ends up being grossly unfair to a class of workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

Most CNAs make barely above the poverty level. Those who work at nursing homes or hospitals are still required to report to work during this pandemic. Worse, they are often on the front line of this pandemic, dealing with the elderly or the sick — caring for high-risk individuals. Do they receive any bonus for such hazardous duty? No. Yet financially, these individuals would fare better by being laid off — those who find themselves unemployed during this crisis will, for the next four months, find themselves making more per week than the underpaid health care workers upon which our nation now depends. This is sad.

I hope you immediately take measures to correct this injustice. As stands, the message the stimulus bill sends is clear: Dear underpaid health care workers, thank you for your service but we really don't value you.

Anthony Brusate


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