CHN’S COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship July 2


July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Independence Day Recess/New State Fiscal Year Edition. The U.S. Senate will be finishing up today without having taken up a new COVID-19 relief bill. It will be out until July 20. In the meantime, most states are starting up a new fiscal year as of July 1, with plummeting revenues and no assurance that the federal government will provide aid to prevent service cuts and state and local government worker layoffs. From February through June, there have already been 1.5 million state and local worker layoffs, out of 15 million public sector workers. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reminded the Senate this week that the economic downturn would be prolonged, and that the “path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.” The data below underscore that need: surging cases are likely to stall the jobs growth we saw in June, and even with that growth, massive numbers of households have lost income, do not have enough to eat, and are at dire risk of eviction. Independence Day will ring hollow for them as the Senate takes off till July 20.

The Senate must join the House in enacting COVID recovery legislation similar to the House’s HEROES Act.

There were 52,789 new COVID cases on July 1, the highest number of daily cases by far; on June 1, there were 16,241 (7 day average for daily cases). 39 states (inc. Puerto Rico) have rising caseloads  Click to tweet.

128,000+/ 2.7 million
Number of confirmed deaths/cases in the US, as of 7/2 from John Hopkins University.  Click to tweet.

15.5x; 8x; 15x
How much caseloads increased from approx. beginning of re-openings through July 1, for Arizona, Florida, and Texas, respectively. Tweet this.

More than half
For more than half of Latinx and Black households, someone lost income from work since March 13 (through June 23). Latinx: 60%; Blacks: 55%; also pretty bad: Asians: 47%; whites, 44%. Tweet this.

17.8 million unemployed in June – that’s down 3.2m from May – the good news.  But more than half of that comes from a 1.7m gain in hotel/food svc. workers. New shutdowns because of the surging caseload may make the good news temporary. Tweet this.

15th straight week
Of unemployment claims of over 1 million (1.4m for week ending 6/27).  But adding together all pandemic UI claims (including self-employed or gig workers) = 31.5m workers (seasonally adjusted, as of week of 6/20). Tweet this.

Number of days until the $600 per week in additional unemployment insurance expires (July 31).  The House HEROES bill would extend the payments through the end of 2020.  The Economic Policy Institute estimates that if the $600 were extended through mid-2021, it would boost employment by 5.1m workers. Tweet this.

11% of GDP
State and local government purchases make up 11 percent of GDP.  The cuts they are projected to make in 2020 and 2021 are estimated at 9% of the decline in GDP, according to CBO. From a letter to Congressional leaders co-sponsored by major state/local government groups.  Tweet this.

Minus 38,000
State and local public health jobs lost since 2008, a 16% drop per capita for state and 18% drop for local public health positions, “leaving a skeletal workforce,” according to Kaiser Health News and AP. Tweet this.

More than 30%
30.5 percent of Black households did not pay or deferred rent in May.  For Latinx, 21%; whites, 12.5%; Asians: 9%.  Moratorium on evictions from federally-backed units expiring before end of July.  Tweet this.

More than 2x
21% of Black households with children sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the previous week, more than 2x the rate for whites: 9%; or Asians: 8%. 16% of Latinx households with children sometimes/often went without food in the past 7 days. Tweet this.

Nearly half
Households with children that sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in past 7 days if respondent was sick with COVID-19 symptoms (46%). Tweet this.

3 times
Latinx people were nearly 3 times more likely than whites to lack health insurance (17% vs. 6%). Black uninsured: 12%; Asian, 6.5%, for week ending June 23. Tweet this.

10 times
Gilead Sciences will charge $3,120 for a typical patient with health insurance for treatment of COVID-19 with its drug remdesivir, 10x the $310 cost as estimated by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. You could tweet this. But wait!  There’s more!

$70.5 million is what Public Citizen estimates the federal government has spent on the development of remdesivir through grants and clinical trials…and $7 billion is the tax break Gilead was estimated to get from the 2017 Trump tax cut on the profits it stashed offshore. Tweet this.