LETTER TO THE EDITOR: COVID-19 in congress, the presidential pre-existing condition

Published 8:21 am Saturday, October 24, 2020

It’s no secret that members of congress are paid an insane amount of money, making nearly $175,000 per year. Leaders in both congressional chambers get paid even more than that. Plus, any member of congress who’s in office for more than five years gets a large portion of their congressional paycheck in the form of a pension after they leave Washington. Sadly, this isn’t the only example of Washington having it much easier than you or I.

It’s bad enough that all this goes on every day under normal circumstances, but to know it’s still going on during a pandemic is ridiculous. As of Oct. 10, 73 members of congress have tested positive for, quarantined with or came in contact with someone with COVID-19. The White House has contracted more cases in the last few weeks than most foreign countries, yet no one on Pennsylvania Avenue has to worry about paying their bills.

Not only has this pandemic killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, but millions of people in the country have been infected. Even if they survive, they are at risk for more medical complications for decades to come, as COVID-19 can attack the heart and lungs. This leaves millions of Americans at risk of having to front the costs for medical conditions they didn’t previously have. Even worse, there’s a lawsuit going before the supreme court right now that could spell the end of healthcare for anyone with a pre-existing condition. Not only will people be at risk of having higher healthcare costs if they survive COVID-19, they may lose their healthcare altogether.   

You shouldn’t have to be a member of congress to survive COVID-19. This pandemic is destroying our community and our country. I just wish my congressional representative understood that.

Cate Fering