SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A small group of Utahns took part in a national day of mourning for the victims of COVID-19 on Monday as a rolling remembrance of the Utahns lost to COVID-19 circled the State Capitol. The organizers say Utah’s minority and low-income populations are the hardest hit.
“People of color around the country and poor folks, in general, are suffering the most from the pandemic,” a member of Utah’s Poor People’s Campaign named Pegasus said.
This was Utah’s contingent in a nationwide Caravan of Mourning which took place simultaneously in 22 states and the District of Columbia. The non-partisan Poor People’s Campaign says governments, including Utah’s, are not doing enough to combat the pandemic. They call it their “moral agenda”.
“To care about the people that are at risk of COVID, to mourn the dead, to fight like hell for the living,” Pegasus said. “That includes demanding different policies from all the governments and even businesses to properly practice everything we do as humans and we all behave better and stop spreading the disease and take care of each other and put an end to it.”
Part of that is their call for a second federal stimulus payment.
“We’re demanding that appropriate relief packages be given to the people who are suffering financially,” Rebecca Hardenbrook of the Utah Poor People’s Campaign told ABC4 News. “Our elected officials need to do their job and listen to us and actually push for a relief package that works for the people.”
They say over a million Utahns are classified as low-income or impoverished, many of them out of work because of the pandemic or essential workers who are potentially exposed to the virus and don’t have proper access to healthcare.
“We want to demand that all the governments, Utah state government as well as national state governments take action now, like yesterday, now, faster than Amazon Prime,” Pegasus said. “You gotta do it now to get this stuff happening.”
Members told me that without another COVID-19 relief package soon, millions of Americans face the prospect of eviction, homelessness, and hunger.
For more information on the Poor People’s Campaign, visit their website