CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship August 27, 2020


August 27, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

August 27, 2020 

More Disaster.  Devastation from the record-breaking Hurricane Laura is now being inflicted on Louisiana and Texas.  Our prayers are with their people, who have already experienced a heavy toll from COVID-19.  The parish including Lake Charles, Louisiana, now blasted by the storm, has had 3,573 COVID cases per 100,000.  Jefferson County, which includes Beaumont, TX, has had 2,611 cases per 100,000.  Both are dramatically higher than the 1,755 cases per 100,000 for the total U.S.  The Trump Administration, instead of negotiating new COVID relief, unilaterally took $44 billion from FEMA disaster funds to pay $300/week in jobless benefits (see below for how that’s going).  Sadly, those funds will be needed, for hurricanes and devastating fires.  The failure of the Senate and the Trump Administration to do the needed work on pandemic relief adds man-made, preventable disaster to the natural kind.  Unemployment remains high.  The proportion of families with young children fearing they cannot pay for basic needs has doubled since the $600/week extra jobless benefits expired.  The federal eviction moratorium is over. Still, Mitch McConnell has not brought the Senate back. 

Let your Senators know you know the difference between 0 and real help. 

+4.4 million 

Since the House passed its $3.4T HEROES Act on May 15, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has risen by 4.4 million – from 1.4 million to nearly 5.8 million on August 27. Tweet this.


25; 0 

How many days the Senate is taking off for its summer recess, having acted on no new COVID-19 relief before leaving.  (The House, as noted, passed its HEROES Act on May 15.) Tweet this. 



People of color who would not have died from COVID-19 if their death rates were the same as that of whites:  19,500 Black, 8,400 Latinx, 600 Indigenous, and 70 Pacific Islander Americans. Tweet this.


42 percent 

Two weeks after the $600/week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation expired, the proportion of families with young children who were worried they would not be able to pay for their basic needs (enough food, rent or utilities) in the next month. Tweet this.


20 percent 

The proportion of families with young children worried about paying for their basic needs in July, when the $600/week was still available.



Eviction filings in 17 cities during the pandemic (3/15 – 8/22) as tracked by Eviction Lab.  12,720 of those were in 3 Texas cities (Austin, Fort Worth and Houston). Now that the federal moratorium on evictions has expired, millions of evictions are expected soon.


1.4 million

Total new unemployment claims for the week of August 22:  includes 822,000 regular state UI plus 608,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, for gig and self-employed workers (not seasonally adjusted).  That’s a lot. For the 4th week without the $600 unemployment boost, workers are getting by with only 40% of pre-pandemic earnings.


-$58 billion 

How much money jobless people have lost in 4 weeks since the $600/week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was allowed to expire. (By the end of August, 47 states plus DC were not replacing any of the $600; 4 states did start to pay $300/week from Trump executive action to divert disaster relief funds for this purpose (AZ, LA, MO, TX).




The number of states that either have not estimated when they will start paying the Trump exec. action $300-$400/week, have not applied or will not apply for it.  (Only 3 states will add $100 to make it $400/week:  KY, MT, WV.  32 states have been approved to start paying, but of those, 15 do not have an estimate yet of when payments will start.)




How many people getting less than $100/week in state unemployment benefits would get the $300/week extra benefit – they’re the lowest-income workers, making up 10-15% of all UI claimants, but they’re not eligible.