WASHINGTON — Congressional leadership must ensure that future COVID-19 response bills do not include any additional funds for the Pentagon, 61 organizations representing pro-diplomacy, veteran, faith, environmental, and anti-war communities, and more, from across the country, said in a letter today.
The letter, led by Win Without War, states that the Pentagon’s $756 billion budget provides more than enough resources to respond to the crisis caused by the pandemic. While there may be a limited role for the Pentagon in responding to the crisis — by, for example, aiding with construction of hospitals — the letter’s signers agree that these activities should be funded by the already-oversized Pentagon budget.
“The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that decades of funneling trillions of dollars into the Pentagon while gutting critical social services, including public health measures, has made us less safe, not more,” said Stephen Miles, Executive Director of Win Without War. “Now of all times, it should be clear that the Pentagon does not need more money.”
“The U.S. spends a grotesque and unacceptable amount on its wasteful war machine,” agreed Savannah Wooten, Campaign Coordinator, People Over the Pentagon. “Throwing additional money at the Pentagon will also continue a cycle of reckless, misallocated spending that got us into this vulnerable position to begin with and further enriches unchecked defense contractors. That funding should instead be used to support the health, well-being, and dignity of impacted Americans.”
“When families, working people and vulnerable communities are facing the tragic implications of this pandemic, directing our nation’s limited resources to the Pentagon is unethical and immoral,” stated Johnny Zokovitch, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA. “Economic support should be focused on alleviating the hardships and anxieties faced by ordinary Americans and addressing the needs of healthcare workers, not further padding the already bloated budget of the Pentagon.”
The U.S.’s lack of preparedness for this pandemic has laid bare that while we have overspent on fruitless wars, we have underinvested in strategies to address the true threats to our safety … As defense contractors and weapons manufacturers lobby for billions of dollars, our state and local governments are struggling to confront the crisis.
Read the full letter by clicking here.