Letter to the Editor: Paid sick days needed

To the Editor: 

In response to the President’s current proposal of payroll tax cuts, we should note that this will simply spread an increment of stimulus to a large pool of people. What is needed — for two reasons — is targeted relief for individuals hit by the virus who will miss workdays. Why? 1. They need to make up for whole weeks of lost paychecks, not just a few bucks each week over the next year. 2. They need incentives and support to actually stay home from the onset of their symptoms so as to staunch the spread of the virus to us all as well as to provide directly for their own care. 

The solution should be some kind of immediate relief in the form of paid sick days and health insurance coverage supported by the federal government for all. This should include restaurant workers and others who need it the most and are most likely to infect others — including homeless people. One mechanism for this could be a modification of the unemployment insurance system to include coverage for paid sick days and a modification of Medicare to include coverage for all individuals affected by the disease. Congress should pass legislation that make these benefits immediately available. 

Gray Cox 

Bar Harbor 

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