CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship August 20, 2021


August 20, 2021

COVID-19 HardshipAugust 20, 2021

The CTC-and-SNAP-to-the-rescue edition. The Delta variant is spreading rapidly, making up more than 98 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. The daily death rate is roughly double what it was at the beginning of August. Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi are seeing their highest daily caseloads since the start of the pandemic. Alabama has run out of ICU beds. “It’s absolutely due to Delta; it’s absolutely due to unvaccinated people,” said David Wohl, a specialist in infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina. “There is an incredible increase in hospitalizations across the spectrum, from just needing oxygen and some care to needing serious interventions to keep people alive. If everyone was vaccinated, our hospitals would not be anywhere near where we are.” 

But there is good news to report – substantial progress for America’s families and children that we think might outlast the pandemic and give millions hope for a better future. The news is two-fold. 

First, new Household Pulse data from the Census Bureau strongly suggest that the first wave of Child Tax Credit expansion benefits, delivered in mid-July, caused a significant decline in hunger and economic hardship for families receiving the benefit. The data show that during the period from June 23 to July 5 (before the CTC payment was received) 11 percent of adults with children said that in the past week, they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat. But after the payment was received (July 21 – August 2), that proportion dropped to 8.4 percent. The drop-off is really quite significant; you can read more here. All the more reason why Congress must make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent. 

Second, earlier this week, the Biden Administration approved the largest increase to food assistance benefits in the history of SNAP. The average monthly benefit will rise more than 25 percent – from $121 per person to $157. Families have suffered greatly during this seemingly unending pandemic – the CTC expansion and increase in nutrition assistance will benefit them greatly. 

Of course, there is much more to be done. The House could vote as early as Monday or Tuesday of next week on the budget that the Senate passed last week – this is the blueprint that will lead us to President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Please ask your House member to remember our struggling families and children and vote in their best interests. Here’s a message about reducing child poverty you can send them. 



7.5 million 

The estimated number of workers who will lose federal pandemic unemployment benefits right around Labor Day. This is the largest cutoff of unemployment benefits in U.S. history. Tweet this.


46 out of 50 


The number of states that saw double-digit increases in hospitalizations for the week ending Tuesday, August 17. Tweet this.


$19.3 billion 


The amount of money the expanded Child Tax Credit is expected to inject into local economies each month, according to the Joint Economic Committee. That’s a multiplier of 1.25 — every dollar distributed under the CTC generates $1.25 in economic activity. Tweet this.



The median wage for home-care workers at an agency was $20,337 in 2019 . That figure drops to $18,111 for independent workers. One in six live in poverty and more than half depend on some kind of public assistance. Almost one in five have no health insurance. Tweet this.



Overall, about 13.1 percent of LGBT adults lived in a household that experienced food insecurity in the past seven days, compared to 7.2 percent of non-LGBT adults, according to a recent Household Pulse survey. And 36.6 percent of LGBT adults lived in a household that had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the previous seven days, compared to 26.1 percent of non-LGBT adults. Tweet this.



Nearly half (46%) of Hispanic/Latino and Black  adults reported their households did without basic necessities like medicine or food to pay their energy bill for a month or more.  That was true of 22% of Whites and 28% of Asians.


2 in 10 


About two out of every ten unvaccinated employees said if their employer gave them paid time off, they would be more likely to get vaccinated, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 1,888 adults conducted June 8 to June 21. The U.S. currently has no national paid leave policy, but President Biden is pushing to include one in his $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan.


8%/Nearly 10% 

About 8 percent of people living in U.S. long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic. For nursing homes alone, that figure is nearly 10 percent – and experts say the actual death rate might be significantly higher.


68%/Around 20% 

According to one study, an estimated 68 percent of the nation’s prison inmates have been vaccinated, but only somewhere around 20 percent of prison staff. “The real problem, in terms of keeping COVID out of prisons now, is the staff,” the study’s author said in an interview. 



In a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 63 percent of parents of school-age children said they support in-school mask mandates for unvaccinated students and staff. But a narrow 54 percent said they oppose vaccine requirements for students, even if the FDA were to grant full approval for school-age children to receive them.





COVID-19 Watch