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Thomas Gallatin / July 22, 2020

Schumer: No COVID Legal Protection for Businesses

The Senate minority leader wants businesses to be on the hook for frivolous lawsuits.

“Democrats will need to fight hard for the many important and necessary provisions that the Senate GOP are leaving out,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) warned in a letter to his fellow Democrats on Monday. And just what were these “important and necessary provisions” Schumer alleges that Senate Republicans will leave out? Well, a more accurate way of putting it is not what Republicans will “leave out” of the upcoming coronavirus legislation but what they will seek to include — namely, legal immunity protection for businesses against COVID-related lawsuits.

Schumer argued that his resistance to providing legal immunity protection is because doing so would amount to covering for nursing homes and businesses that were negligent and failed to safeguard patients and clients. This is all the more ironic given the high number of nursing home deaths in Schumer’s home state — deaths that are largely a direct result of Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policies. Yet Schumer conveniently seeks to scapegoat businesses that were bound by the governor’s orders.

The New York senator also made the bogus claim that he’s looking out for “workers and families, not special interests.” Yet he and the Democrats are stubbornly resisting President Donald Trump’s demand for a payroll tax cut, despite the president’s warning that he “would consider not signing [COVID-19 stimulus legislation] if we don’t have a payroll tax cut.”

In truth, Schumer is focused on looking out for the Democrats’ special interests — trial lawyers. But if we expect the economy to really get going again (of course, Democrats don’t want to happen), and in order to help businesses that risk reopening, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pointedly observed, it’s imperative that we stave off “an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic.”

(Visit our comprehensive CV19 Pandemic response and recovery page to review our comprehensive timeline on government and political actions related to the pandemic, and see our related pages.

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