News & Events

Submit Letters to the Editor on Coronavirus and Critical Concerns

May 07, 2020

During this time when legislative activity in Washington, D.C. is minimal and events such as rallies, vigils and other kinds of demonstrations are on hold due to stay-at-home orders in many jurisdictions, letters to the editor are a vehicle for raising issues and influencing public opinion. Letters to the editor are widely read by both government officials and the general public.

Go to the website of your local paper for information on how to submit your letter. Many papers have online forms specifically for letters-to-the-editor. You can also find the paper’s mailing address if you prefer to submit your letter by mail.

Below, look at some sample messages connecting this time of the coronavirus with Mercy's critical concerns of Earth, immigration, nonviolence, anti-racism and women.

If you have questions, contact


Be sure your letter addresses an issue currently in the news and one the paper has covered.

Here are some sample letters that you could expand upon with your own concerns and experiences.

If your letter is published, please send a copy to the Institute Justice Team ( You may also want to send a copy to you senators and representative.

Coronavirus and health

During this global health crisis, I am very concerned about the layoffs at (name of facility, here in name of city) or the decision to close (name of facility here in name of city). Not only does this mean loss of income, but in our employer-based healthcare system, it also likely means loss of health insurance as well. Health care is a basic human right, not a commodity access to which depends on one’s ability to pay. The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the serious shortcomings of our market-based fee-for-service health care model. This moment is an opportunity for us as a nation to reimagine health care and move in a direction that is life-affirming rather than profit-driven. Let’s not lose it.

Coronavirus and immigration

I am very concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our migrant sisters and brothers. The Trump administration is detaining thousands in ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) custody where crowding and unsanitary conditions increase their chances of contracting the coronavirus. When they are deported, they carry the virus back their home counties where we see outbreaks such as in Haiti and Honduras. Migrants without Social Security Numbers, Green Cards or eligible work visas are also excluded from accessing benefits included in the various relief packages enacted in response to the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Migrants are vital members of our community. They have families, attend our houses of worship and schools, patronize our businesses and are business owners themselves. If anything, the virus has underscored our common humanity. It does not check passports or other documents before infecting a person and neither should we before providing essential aid.

Coronavirus and workers

The coronavirus pandemic has given us a new appreciation of just who are the essential workers upon whom we all depend for the basic necessities of life. They are not the CEO’s, hedge fund managers or even high ranking government officials, but grocery store clerks, persons who stock the shelves and sweep the floors, healthcare workers, housekeeping staff and bus drivers. Unfortunately, these workers are often the most poorly paid and hold jobs that provide few or no benefits.

Shouldn’t the coronavirus be a wake-up call for all of us to assure that these essential workers, workers whose labor we take for granted every day, earn enough to provide adequately for their families and can stay home without losing pay if they are sick? It is time to give serious consideration to a universal living wage.

Coronavirus and national priorities.

The coronavirus pandemic is raising some challenging questions about our national priorities. As the country faces increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths, it is becoming painfully obvious that our immense military might is totally ineffective in combating this threat. The United States comprises just four percent of the world’s population, but accounts for 32 percent of the COVID-19 cases and, according to the most recent data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 38 percent of the world’ military spending.

What if even a portion of our huge military budget, $718 billion in the current fiscal year, was redirected to health, nutrition, housing, education and other basic human needs? Would we have the largest coronavirus outbreak in the world? The coronavirus is calling us to rethink our national priorities

Coronavirus and the environment

As our leaders consider how to rebuild our economy and get people back to work, it’s important to remember that the “normal” many yearn for was not just nor environmentally sustainable. Investing in clean energy jobs and training, improving public transportation and access to clean water and reducing air pollution can have multiple benefits. These measures will create employment for today and into the future and address long-term environmental injustices that make certain communities at greater risk of contracting and dying from respiratory diseases like COVID-19. We must adopt policies that turn around our economy while also responding to other threats such as climate change and building resilience for future crises, whether another pandemic or the impacts of a warming planet.


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