CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, April 30, 2021


April 30, 2021

COVID-19 HardshipApril 302021 

The lifting up families and children edition. Fourteen weeks into his term in office, President Biden told the American public Wednesday evening that the twin battles to beat the pandemic and improve the economy are succeeding. “Now — after just 100 days – I can report to the nation: America is on the move again,” Biden said. “Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setbacks into strength.” 

Seen through the lens of the pandemic, a vigorous vaccination campaign, and an improving economy, Biden would appear to be correct in his assertions. The 7-day average for COVID-19 cases was more than 195,000 on January 20, the day Biden was sworn in. On Wednesday, April 28, it had dropped to 52,605, a decline of 26 percent over the previous 14-day period. Some 30 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated; about 43 percent have received at least one dose. On Thursday, it was revealed that economic growth in the U.S. for the first quarter was 1.6 percent, higher than experts had forecast. 

But Biden and his team know this is not the time to settle for a return to the pre-pandemic status quo. The pandemic uncloaked weaknesses in our nation’s workforce – barriers that hold back people of color, women, and workers with low incomes. It is time to tear down these barriers. It is time, in Biden’s words, to turn crisis into opportunity. 

President Biden’s American Families Plan, unveiled Wednesday, is transformative for families, for children, and for lower- and middle-income workers. It would pay for two years of preschool for all children and two years of community college, extending the 12 years of public education Americans now get. It would make it so no struggling family pays more than 7 percent of their income on child care for kids up to the age of 5. It would eventually support up to 12 weeks of family leave. It includes expanded Pell grants, investments in historically black colleges and universities, an extension of the improved Child Tax Credit through 2025 and a permanent expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children, and more nutrition assistance for children. It would lower health care premiums for many. 

To pay for his plan, President Biden would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans by $1.5 trillion over a decade. No one earning less than $400,000 would be affected. The American Families Plan would increase the top income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent and would eliminate a loophole that allows wealthy Americans to avoid taxes on their wealth by passing it on to their heirs. And Biden would step up IRS enforcement by hiring more agents and investing in new tools and technology. 

Within the next few months, Biden’s plan to lift up families and children and make our workers more competitive in the global economy will begin to move through Congress. We at the Coalition on Human Needs look forward to engaging in a full-court press to build on it and enact it. We hope you will join us. 




Researchers at Columbia University, releasing updated statistics, project that the American Families Plan would cut overall poverty in the U.S. by 23 percent in 2022 and child poverty by 47.4 percent. Tweet this.


1 in 5 

Among households with incomes less than $25,000 with children in public or private school, one in five reported no live contact with teachers (online or in person) . In contrast, fewer than 6 percent of children in households with incomes of $200,000 or more had no live contact with teachers. Tweet this.



The percent of workers in the U.S. with access to paid leave – to care for themselves, a new child, or a family member. Under the American Families Plan, all workers would have access to paid leave. Tweet this.



Expanding access to affordable, high-quality child care to everyone who needs it would increase the number of women with young children working full-time/full-year by about 17 percent, and by about 31 percent for women with no college degree. Tweet this.


7.7 million 

As the pandemic intensified in 2020, an estimated 7.7 million Americans lost their employer-sponsored health insurance by June 2020. That also affected 6.9 million dependents. The American Families Plan would make health coverage more affordable. Tweet this.



In the first few months of the pandemic, at least 400,000 children went untested for lead and doctors and nurses ordered 3 million fewer regular childhood vaccinations. 10,000 children with elevated lead levels in 34 states went undiagnosed between January and May 2020, according to a CDC study.



One large commercial lab reported 700,000 fewer HIV screenings — a 45 percent drop – between March and September 2020 and 5,000 fewer diagnoses, compared to the year before. The fight against HIV has been derailed, experts say, by the focus on COVID-19. Black people make up 13 percent of the nation’s population, but 40 percent of HIV cases.



One-quarter of women say their family’s financial situation is worse today than when the pandemic began, compared to 18 percent of men. And 27 percent of non-whites say they are worse off versus 18 percent of whites.


3 in 10 

The number of health care workers who have considered leaving their profession, according to a new poll. About six in ten say stress from the pandemic has harmed their mental health.



The amount the U.S. economy grew during the first three months of 2021, reflecting an ambitious COVID-19 vaccination campaign and massive stimulus spending by the federal government.