AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI - 3-31-2020

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI
TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2020

POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

All of us are being bombarded by gloom and doom and negative stories concerning COVID-19.  Unfortunately, that’s what sells newspapers and keeps us watching news shows on TV.  There are, however, some very positive events occurring which should raise our spirits and possibly bring this scourge to a swifter end with less loss of life.

First, Drug Companies J&J and Moderna have signed deals with the US to produce Coronavirus vaccines.  Yesterday, J&J announced a deal to manufacture one billion doses of a vaccine with tests beginning in September.  Better yet, Moderna has already begun tests on a vaccine and will produce massive amounts even before all tests are totally completed.  Obviously, safety concerns will be followed by the Company, understanding time is of the essence. 

On the treatment front, the FDA has issued emergency use authorization for anti-malaria drugs amid the Coronavirus outbreak.  The authorization would allow thirty million doses of the drug to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.  This speedup of the drug use could save thousands of lives of those most seriously ill.  Simultaneously, the medical community is also looking at the use of HIV drugs to fight the severe lung inflammation caused by COVID-19.

None of what we have reported above should be viewed as a basis to relax any of our safety practices.  Continue to exercise good hygiene and social distancing.  The Union is constantly speaking with our Employers and elected officials about protective equipment, which is extremely difficult to obtain.  Also, we have been driving home the message that we should not permit overcrowding of our stores by customers, which could be detrimental to our health and welfare.

Workers who are ill should not report to work.  You will not be disciplined or terminated if you are unable to work because of COVID-19 symptoms.  Your Union will continue to answer questions and resolve problems relating to the Pandemic as they arise.  Please continue to work smartly and safely, and understand that you have earned the respect and gratitude of millions of New York-New Jersey residents.