<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Testing, contact tracing, effective treatments — these protections may be necessary for the U.S. economy to reopen, some experts and elected officials have said. Philanthropist Melinda Gates told Yahoo Finance on Thursday that an often overlooked form of healthcare is similarly vital: caregiving.” data-reactid=”16″>Testing, contact tracing, effective treatments — these protections may be necessary for the U.S. economy to reopen, some experts and elected officials have said. Philanthropist Melinda Gates told Yahoo Finance on Thursday that an often overlooked form of healthcare is similarly vital: caregiving.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="An economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak will require policymakers and business leaders to make caregiving more accessible for those who need it and more viable for the people — mostly women — who provide it, said Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of investment firm Pivotal Ventures.” data-reactid=”17″>An economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak will require policymakers and business leaders to make caregiving more accessible for those who need it and more viable for the people — mostly women — who provide it, said Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of investment firm Pivotal Ventures.

She said she envisions a future in which some workers return to their jobs while others remain home to care for sick family members or children educated remotely.

“We have had a broken caregiving system in the United States for over 50 years now, and we’re the only industrialized nation that doesn’t think about caregiving and value it,” she says.

“So what’s happening is during this COVID-19 time it’s exposing that broken caregiving system,” she adds. “We can’t get people back to work and rebuild the economy unless we really focus on this caregiving piece and do the right things.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="She called on Congress to improve the paid sick and family leave expansion passed in March, which excluded many companies from the benefits requirements. Moreover, she advocated for a nationwide paid medical and family leave plan — a proposal backed in part by both parties, though they differ sharply on the details.” data-reactid=”21″>She called on Congress to improve the paid sick and family leave expansion passed in March, which excluded many companies from the benefits requirements. Moreover, she advocated for a nationwide paid medical and family leave plan — a proposal backed in part by both parties, though they differ sharply on the details.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“If there were ever an excuse for inaction, there isn’t one anymore,” Gates writes in the Washington Post on Thursday. “To ensure a fast and inclusive recovery, governments, business leaders and investors need to make caregiving a priority.”” data-reactid=”22″>“If there were ever an excuse for inaction, there isn’t one anymore,” Gates writes in the Washington Post on Thursday. “To ensure a fast and inclusive recovery, governments, business leaders and investors need to make caregiving a priority.”

“The emergency provisions recently passed by Congress are an important first step, but they provide too few sick days and cover to too few workers,” she writes. “Lawmakers can start by expanding access to paid sick and family leave for the duration of this crisis.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Congress should also enact a national paid family and medical leave policy that will guarantee men and women the ability to take time away from their jobs to care for a loved one or recover from an illness without threatening their financial stability,” adds Gates, who released last year a book entitled “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.”” data-reactid=”28″>“Congress should also enact a national paid family and medical leave policy that will guarantee men and women the ability to take time away from their jobs to care for a loved one or recover from an illness without threatening their financial stability,” adds Gates, who released last year a book entitled “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House remain divided over an additional stimulus measure, while President Donald Trump has sought likely-polarizing tax cuts to be included in the bill, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.” data-reactid=”29″>The Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House remain divided over an additional stimulus measure, while President Donald Trump has sought likely-polarizing tax cuts to be included in the bill, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Trump said on Tuesday “there’ll be more death” as states lift stay-at-home measures but has urged a path toward normalcy in order to blunt the damaging economic effects caused by the mandates.” data-reactid=”30″>Trump said on Tuesday “there’ll be more death” as states lift stay-at-home measures but has urged a path toward normalcy in order to blunt the damaging economic effects caused by the mandates.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Payroll company ADP said on Wednesday that more than 20 million Americans lost their jobs in April. When the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly employment figures on May 8, analysts expect the worst losses since the Great Depression.” data-reactid=”31″>Payroll company ADP said on Wednesday that more than 20 million Americans lost their jobs in April. When the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly employment figures on May 8, analysts expect the worst losses since the Great Depression.

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 18: In this screengrab, (L-R) Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak during "One World: Together At Home" presented by Global Citizen on April, 18, 2020. The global broadcast and digital special was held to support frontline healthcare workers and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the UN Foundation. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Global Citizen )UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 18: In this screengrab, (L-R) Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak during "One World: Together At Home" presented by Global Citizen on April, 18, 2020. The global broadcast and digital special was held to support frontline healthcare workers and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the UN Foundation. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Global Citizen )
Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak during “One World: Together At Home” presented by Global Citizen on April, 18, 2020. The global broadcast and digital special was held to support frontline healthcare workers and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the UN Foundation. (Photo by Getty Images for Global Citizen )

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Women at a disadvantage” data-reactid=”43″>Women at a disadvantage

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Observers have noted that the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak will have a disproportionately negative effect on women, since they already make less than their male counterparts and suffer additional salary losses for time spent out of the workforce.” data-reactid=”44″>Observers have noted that the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak will have a disproportionately negative effect on women, since they already make less than their male counterparts and suffer additional salary losses for time spent out of the workforce.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Women also do the majority of household tasks and caregiving, Gates noted in her op-ed. Such work has grown amid the coronavirus outbreak as children take part in schooling from home and families cook their meals.” data-reactid=”45″>Women also do the majority of household tasks and caregiving, Gates noted in her op-ed. Such work has grown amid the coronavirus outbreak as children take part in schooling from home and families cook their meals.

“It’s no mystery who will bear most of the burden,” Gates writes in her op-ed. “It’s women. It’s always women.”

The emergency offers an opportunity to remedy a system that she notes has been broken going back to at least World War II, when women took up jobs as men went off to war, but the nurseries that opened to provide childcare closed when the soldiers returned.