BURLINGTON, Vt. – Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday will host a livestream on why the coronavirus pandemic proves the need to guarantee health care as a human right through Medicare for All.
Sanders will be joined by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Dr. Claudia Fegan and Bernie 2020 Health Care Constituency Director Michael Lighty.
Laura Jean Anderson and MAX will provide music for the stream, which can be seen at live.berniesanders.com.
Rep. Jayapal was elected in 2016 is now serving her second term in Congress representing Washington’s 7th District, which encompasses most of Seattle and its surrounding areas. She is the first South Asian American woman even elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and one of only 14 naturalized citizens currently serving in Congress. Jayapal is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which makes up almost 40 percent of the House Democratic majority. She was the National Health Policy Chair and Washington State Chair for Bernie 2020, and is the lead sponsor of H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019. Jayapal is the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, and also serves on the House Budget Committee and House Education and Labor Committee.
Dr. El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He is the Chair of Southpaw Michigan and formerly the Health Director for the City of Detroit. He is the author of the book Healing Politics, calling for a politics of empathy to cure our epidemic of insecurity. He is the host of “America Dissected,” a podcast by Crooked Media, which goes beyond the headlines to explore what really matters for our health.
Dr. Fegan is chief medical officer of Cook County Health and is past president of the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. In 2016, Modern Healthcare named Dr. Fegan one of “10 Minority Executives to Watch,” noting her achievements in the medical profession and her single-payer activism. Dr. Fegan is national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program and has appeared on national television and radio programs, testified before congressional committees, and lectured extensively to both medical and community audiences. She is a co-author of the book “Universal Healthcare: What the United States Can Learn from Canada” and a contributor to “10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care.”
Lighty has organized, advocated and developed policy for single-payer, Medicare for All, nationally and in California for 30 years. He is a founding Fellow of the Sanders Institute. A leader in DSA’s Medicare For All campaign, Lighty retired last year from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, where he was director of public policy. Most recently, he served as health care constituency director for Bernie 2020.