Press Release: Socialists Call for Swift Action to Combat Swine Flu Outbreak

Socialist Party USA, NYC Local Calls for Swift Action by New York City to Combat Swine Flu Outbreak

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New York, NY - During his Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 press conference New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg urged New York City residents exhibiting Swine Flu symptoms to seek medical attention regardless of their immigration or health insurance coverage status. However, Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Health failed to address the medical bills the city’s uninsured will incur by taking their advice. The Mayor fails to address the serious problems many residents face in accessing healthcare. The Socialist Party USA, NYC Local (SPNYC) calls on the Mayor and Department of Health to address the Swine Flu outbreak with swift actions that protect all New Yorkers.

The SPNYC calls for free distribution of free distribution of all preventative materials, the opening of free testing centers at all NYC public hospitals, a moratorium on billing for all swine flu related medical care, and the free distribution of Tamiflu and other swine flue treatments. Enacting this plan will provide all New Yorkers with healthcare necessary to treat the Swine Flu. Combatting the Swine Flu is about treatment not just containment.

According to a New York 1 report, New Yorkers seeking testing for the Swine Flu have been turned away from New York City hospitals because currently only the Department of Health can administer Swine Flu tests. Instead, people are being urged to treat their symptoms as they would the typical flu-- with rest and fluids. This response, in conjunction with the countless New Yorkers not seeking medical attention due to lack of health insurance, does not adequately address the public health threat posed by the outbreak.

“Access to healthcare is no problem for a billionaire like Michael Bloomberg,” says Billy Wharton, Chairperson of the Socialist Party of New York State, “for the rest of us hospital visits mean facing medical bills and debt. The seriousness of this outbreak requires that access to medical care be provided to all New Yorkers.” Therefore, SPNYC calls on the Mayor to respond directly to the threat by enacting a comprehensive public health initiative.
For more information and interviews contact:
Billy Wharton,

Socialist Party USA, NYC Local is a democratic socialist organization that believes that the vast wealth of society should be used to fulfill human needs .