CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, April 14, 2023


April 14, 2023

COVID-19 HardshipApril 14, 2023 

The Tax Day edition. Tuesday is Tax Day, and the human needs community has activities planned. The message behind the activities is that we need to raise revenues reasonably and responsibly in order to invest in a care economy. A care economy will mean hope, opportunity, and prosperity for millions of Americans. 

If the wealthy and big corporations start paying their fair share in taxes, there will be more than enough revenue to support investments in paid leave, child care, and aging and disability care. But right now, that’s not happening. 

According to Americans for Tax Fairness, “[T]op individual tax rates are about half of what they were 40 years ago; corporate tax revenue as a share of total tax revenue has dropped from one-third to less than 10% since the middle of the last century; some billionaires pay no federal income taxes and others pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families pay when the growth of their investments are counted; and the top 1% evades $160 billion in taxes that they owe every year.” 

Far from building a care economy, some in Congress want to take us in the opposite direction. They would take food assistance and health care away from millions of Americans by subjecting them to burdensome, bureaucratic requirements. It’s their way of enacting cuts to critical needs programs – make them so difficult to access with so many hoops to jump through, that those in need can’t qualify or just give up. 

On Tuesday, the Coalition on Human Needs will join Americans for Tax Fairness, MomsRising, the National Women’s Law Center, Care Can’t Wait, and Caring Across Generations for an all-day social media storm. You can see the nifty social media kit these groups have put together here – feel free to participate! Another action you can take: tell Congress to pass President Biden’s budget. It includes robust investments in a care economy, and requires corporations and the wealthy to pay more of their share.     


$8.4 trillion/

$1.7 trillion


The original George W. Bush tax cuts and their extensions will have added $8.4 trillion to the national debt by the end of this year. The 2017 Trump tax cuts will add another $1.7 trillion in debt through 2023. What’s more, some in Congress want to renew cuts expiring in 2025, which would add $3 trillion more in debt. Tweet this.


6 in 10


A new poll published last week by Pew Research found that 61 percent of those surveyed say that the feeling that some corporations don’t pay their fair share bothers them a lot, while 60 percent say the same thing about wealthy individuals not paying their fair share. Tweet this.


$80 billion


The Biden Administration last week unveiled a 10-year, $80 billion plan for the IRS to focus on customer service and on cracking down on wealthy tax evaders. Biden is seeking to reduce the nation’s $7 trillion in uncollected tax revenue to pay for things like fighting climate change, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and other human needs programs. More than half of the $80 billion will be dedicated to ensuring that rich investors and large corporations pay what they owe. Tweet this.


41 million/

>10 million


More than 41 million Americans currently receive SNAP benefits. But more than 10 million people could lose their benefits if a proposal by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) becomes law. That includes households with millions of children. Johnson’s proposal would make it more difficult to continue to qualify for benefits by adding burdensome, bureaucratic requirements. Tweet this.


160 million


The number of Americans guaranteed free access to preventive care services through their private-sector health insurance. This free coverage is now at risk due to a recent ruling by a conservative U.S. District judge in Texas. The Biden Administrations is appealing the judge’s ruling. Tweet this.



The U.S. maternal mortality rate increased significantly during the pandemic. In 2021, 1,205 women died of maternal causes, compared to 861 in 2020, and 754 in 2019. Black women were disproportionately affected.


$5 billion


This week the Biden Administration announced it is launching a $5 billion initiative to hasten development of new coronavirus vaccines and treatments. “Project Next Gen” will follow in the footsteps of “Operation Warp Speed,” which developed COVID-19 vaccines in 2020. Experts have long called for this follow-up initiative, warning that existing therapies have steadily lost their effectiveness and new ones are needed.


Nearly 1 in 5


A new poll by Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly one in five respondents said a family member had been killed by a gun. That includes 34 percent of Black adults, 18 percent of Hispanic adults, and 17 percent of White adults.



Gun violence surged during the pandemic. There were a record 48,830 firearm-related deaths in the U.S. in 2021, an increase of 23 percent from 2019. Among children under 18, deaths during that same time period rose 50 percent – from 1,732 in 2019 to 2,590 in 2021.




There were 48,183 people who died by suicide in 2021, according to a CDC report published this week. That’s a 4.7% increase from the previous year and the highest rate since 2018.