Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt; Posted 3/16/2020

Dear NOW Activist: 

I hope that you are staying healthy and taking care of yourself as we all learn to live with a “new normal” brought on by the coronavirus. I think it’s more important than ever that we stay connected and continue to share information, ideas, and experiences as we stand up for women’s rights during this difficult time. 

We know that women are being disproportionately impacted by the virus. 

Primary caregivers in most families are women, which makes it more likely that women—especially mothers—will contract the virus. 

And the majority of health care workers are women too—with some estimates as high as 70 percent.  These women are on the front lines in hospitals and will certainly be exposed as the virus spreads. 

The Senate will vote this week on Speaker Pelosi’s multibillion-dollar package of programs designed to fight the spread of COVID-19 and provide economic relief and other measures to those affected. 

Let your Senators know how vital it is that they support this bill—especially if they’re Republicans!  They need to put partisanship aside and work tirelessly to protect the public health. 

I’d also like to share with you some of what I’ve been seeing in the news and talking about it with my colleagues here at NOW.  I’m inviting you to join this conversation today.  Pass along these clips on your social media, or to a friend. 

For example, did you see Rep. Katie Porter question CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield about the testing gap?  She was relentless and incredibly focused in her determination to get him to say “yes” to free testing for anyone, regardless of insurance. 

And this article from the New York Times (paywall lifted) has more data about the greater risk of catching the coronavirus information for women. 

Finally, this roundup from our allies at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) updates resources for advocates and includes state-by-state information to meet the challenges of providing uninterrupted services for survivors. The risk for domestic violence rises during times of isolation, so it is more vital than ever that women have access to these vital resources. 

Please stay informed, stay focused, and stay safe.  And stay in touch—we need these lines of communication more than ever.