Bernie Sanders urged the Senate to pass COVID-relief measures so young people can date and socialize again

Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks during an interview with MSNBC in the Russell Rotunda in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders has for months pushed various COVID relief measures to aid Americans.
  • On Friday, he said the Senate should pass the $US1.9 ($2) trillion relief package so young people can resume socializing.
  • “You’ve got young people who want to go to school, who want to socialize, want to date,” Sanders said.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday urged the Senate to pass the $US1.9 ($2) trillion coronavirus relief package, arguing that various COVID-19 relief measures are needed to ensure that young people are able to date again.

Addressing his colleagues on the Senate floor, Sanders discussed how social isolation brought on by the coronavirus has affected young Americans.

“You’ve got young people who want to go to school, who want to socialize, want to date, want to do things that young people do,” Sanders said. “They can’t do it and have been unable to do that for the last year, and that has resulted in a very sharp increase in mental illness in this country, something, by the way, that this legislation also deals with.” 

It’s been almost a year since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, more than 28 million people in the United States have contracted the virus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 500,000 Americans have died

Sanders in his address also sympathized with elderly people who have spent nearly a year in isolation, staying away from their grandchildren and other family members to minimize the risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

These issues reflect a pressing need to pass various COVID relief measures, Sanders argued. 

The Vermont senator has for weeks pushed lawmakers to increase the minimum wage to $US15 ($20) per hour. The Senate, however, struck down his proposal Friday

The Senate could vote on the $US1.9 ($2) trillion stimulus package as early as Saturday.

In addition to concerns over the economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic, questions over Americans’ mental health are also on the rise. 

According to a national study conducted by nonprofit FAIR Health, mental health-related insurance claims among US teenagers between 13 and 18 years of age have skyrocketed during the pandemic. 

The report, released last Tuesday, said self-harm and overdose claims have been among the issues most frequently reported since March 2020. 

Young, single people fighting social isolation have generally found it hard to date during the pandemic, Vox previously reported

Despite polls released during the height of the pandemic last year that show online dating gained popularity among millennials and other groups of younger people, dating apps and websites make it hard to form solid relationships, Vox reported, citing interviews with more than a dozen single people.