MCJ in Action – COVID-19

March 24, 2020

COVID-19 is taking a tragic toll on Americans across the country and here in Mississippi. People are struggling to access adequate testing and treatment for the disease. Many have died. Americans are losing jobs left and right. Small businesses are scrambling to stay afloat. Incarcerated people live in fear of an outbreak that would spread like wildfire in tight, unsanitary cells.

Tackling this crisis will require a strong, collaborative effort from the entire country. We are committed to doing everything in our power to help.

Thus far, MCJ has taken the following actions:

  • We have launched the Mississippi Mask Drive to provide homemade cloth masks to Mississippians who work and live in locked facilities during the pandemic.
  • We are demanding that the Mississippi Department of Health and the Division of Medicaid provide access to free COVID-19 testing and treatment and relaxation of certain requirements for Medicaid access.
  • We called out here op-ed our legislature’s inaction to the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • We joined Community Catalyst in calling out the Department of Health and Human Services to create a special enrollment period for the federal marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. In doing so, people without insurance would have the chance to get it.
  • We worked with the Center on Biological Diversity to push for a moratorium on water and electric utility shutoffs. That would ensure people would be able to access basic needs, regardless of their economic situation.
  • We joined the United Church of Christ to demand the Federal Communications Commission to bolster telephone and internet access for low-income Americans.
  • We collaborated with the NAACP and Center for Responsible Lending to call on Congress to include specific relief for consumers and small businesses in their emergency legislation.
  • We worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union to push for measures to protect incarcerated people from exposure to COVID-19. This is crucial -- Prisoners are often in poor health and live in unsanitary, cramped conditions that facilitate the spread of disease. 
  • We’re calling for a moratorium on both evictions and foreclosures. We don’t want any people forced to live on the streets due to this disease. 

This is just the beginning of our efforts. MCJ will continue to fight to protect Mississippians from the wrath of COVID-19.