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Lecturer Scott Lemieux on NBC News Think site, "Mitch McConnell's new coronavirus plan: Make sure you can't sue a company that gets you sick"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on May 5, 2020 - 1:02pm

Political Science UW Seattle Lecturer Scott Lemieux writes that Senate Majority Leader McConnell wants to add immunity for employers against COVID-19 exposure claims.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., announced that he is willing to work with Democrats to pass another COVID-19 relief bill when his institution finally returns from an inexcusably long recess in May. His top priority isn’t addressing the myriad economic hardships facing most Americans, who have seen jobs evaporate, salaries cut, small businesses suffer, retirement accounts dwindle and may yet still take ill or die of the disease the government seemingly has no comprehensive plan to fight, but rather addressing what he called the “the lawsuit pandemic” by providing legal immunity to companies for lawsuits related to their actions during the pandemic.

"Providing them with legal immunity reduces their incentives to provide appropriate protective equipment to employees and provide safe environments to workers and customers." The priority that McConnell is putting on legal immunity for companies also underscores how reckless and irresponsible premature Republican calls to “open up” the economy is. McConnell thinks that companies that “help” to open up the economy face a high risk of being sued shows that he is aware of what huge gamble is being made with the lives of working Americans.

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