Growing up in the Greater Seattle area has made me increasingly aware of the clear domestic poverty issue in the city. Luckily, our state senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have been working diligently to get the American Rescue Plan through Congress, and in March of this year, it was proven that their efforts did not go to waste. With this new plan in place, Washington state alone is provided with $404 million in rent and utility assistance for those experiencing housing instability or homelessness due to the pandemic.
This work is commendable, and a step in the right direction for our country, but what about countries who don’t have senators to speak up for them? Even worse, countries throughout Africa are still struggling with controlling HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis since all of their medical resources are going towards combating COVID-19.
I’m not saying that our senators have done nothing in regards to advocating for foreign aid. Senator Patty Murray has been especially key in sponsoring a 2016 resolution for working women in developing countries, as well as the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act. However, I urge our senators to continue prioritizing global health legislation and foreign aid, because pandemics truly have no borders. Conditions will continue to get worse in developing countries if we do nothing. While this is not only extremely sad for the people that live there, it is also going to hurt the United States’ economy over time, with less and less international consumers being available and international businesses being left unstable. We have to all be in this together to defeat COVID-19 once and for all and that cannot be done without the help of foreign aid in addition to the domestic aid that is being implemented here at home.