ACLU targets Democrats, Republicans with mobile coronavirus billboards

ACLU targets Democrats, Republicans with mobile coronavirus billboards
© Photo courtesy of ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday sponsored a fleet of mobile billboards in Washington, D.C., Miami and Phoenix, demanding that members of Congress open COVID-19 testing and treatment to everyone in the United States, regardless of immigration status.

The billboards, designed to be a socially-distant physical ad campaign, targeted House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi preparing for House to decide presidency if neither Trump or Biden win electoral college: report Trump seeks boost from seniors with 0 drug discount coupons GOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump after report reveals he avoided income taxes for 10 years: 'Disgusting' Biden refuses to say whether he would support expanding Supreme Court Schumer says Trump tweet shows court pick meant to kill off ObamaCare MORE (D-N.Y.), Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP online donor platform offering supporters 'Notorious A.C.B.' shirts Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE (R-Fla.) and Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallySenate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Netflix distances from author's comments about Muslim Uyghurs but defends project On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami MORE (R).

"Until all of us are covered, all of us are at risk," read the billboards, which ask people to urge the politicians to push for universal coronavirus testing and treatment.

ADVERTISEMENT

In all coronavirus response bills that have become law, Congress has included testing and treatment for people eligible for federal Medicaid, rather than emergency Medicaid, excluding broad categories of immigrants, such as undocumented immigrants and permanent residents who've been in the country less than five years.

Overall, at least 10 million people and potentially more than 15 million people are ineligible for testing and treatment under current legislation.

The House-passed Heroes Act, broadly seen as the Democratic starting point for negotiations with Senate Republicans on the next coronavirus stimulus bill, included COVID-19 testing and treatment under emergency Medicaid, which covers everyone in the country.

But the Senate Republican version so far does not include a similar provision.

Immigrant advocates as far back as April warned of the dangers of excluding millions of people from testing and treatment, and the ACLU in July ran a series of ads pushing for universal inclusion.

The new ad campaign, which costs somewhere in the "high four figures," is targeting Democratic leaders who in previous negotiations have not been able to convince Senate Republicans to include immigrants in coronavirus stimulus packages.

But it also targets Republicans like Rubio, who has pushed for economic stimulus for American citizens married to immigrants without a Social Security Number, another excluded group in prior coronavirus bills.