According to numerous economists, if Congress does not agree to raise the debt ceiling, the federal government will not be able to pay all its bills. That default, which is projected on or around June 1, would plunge the U.S. into an instant recession.
Sixty-six million people rely on Social Security each month to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. For 40% of recipients, Social Security makes up 90% of their monthly income. These payments would be delayed.
SNAP food stamp payments would be delayed, as would Medicaid payments to states and Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors―devastating to health infrastructure, especially in rural communities.
Two million federal workers, 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, plus government contractors would all see delays in payments. And veterans’ benefits, including disability payments and pensions would be impacted.
Meanwhile the stock market would take a severe hit, dropping anywhere from 33 – 45%, wiping out $12 trillion of household wealth, including retirement accounts.
The August Awakening edition. Yes, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are way up – a trend experts say may continue into the fall. Yet there is also evidence of an awakening – an awareness, finally, that the vaccine can protect them against a disease that’s hitting closer and closer to home. Alabama and Arkansas – two states with low vaccination rates – have seen their daily rates of vaccinations double in the past three weeks. Louisiana, which now leads the nation in new infections per capita, has seen its daily vaccination rate nearly quadruple in the past few weeks. “The public is finally hearing how bad it has gotten,” saidDr. Robert C. Peltier, the Chief Medical Officer for North Oaks Health System in Hammond, Louisiana. Still, last month, of those adults who were unvaccinated, about three-quarters said they were either definitely not going to get the shot, or were unlikely to get it.
Big corporations – until recently on the fence – are now announcing they will require their employees to be vaccinated. These include Walmart, Google, Tysons Foods, and, if you can believe it, Fox. New York City is going to require anyone eating in a restaurant, visiting a gym, seeing a movie, attending a concert, or checking out a Broadway production to prove they have received at least one shot. More cities and even one state (Louisiana) have issued indoor mask mandates. President Biden has announced that all civilian federal employees must either be fully vaccinated or undergo COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis.
And as Congress embarks on a lengthy August recess, there is activism in the streets. Protect Our Care is about to embark on a 19-state Care Force One “Lower Cost/Better Care” bus tour. They’ll kick off in Bangor and Portland, Maine this Monday. You can see their itinerary here. And there’s the Paid Leave For All bus tour; on Friday, they’ll be in Roanoke Virginia and Charleston, West Virginia. Click herefor their itinerary and follow along with them here. Others continue to press Congress on our demands that immigrant protections be included in the under-construction reconciliation package, that the major expansions in the Child Tax Credit are made permanent, and that people are protected from evictions and hunger.
A recent report found that states that announced an early end of federal unemployment insurance benefits saw employment decline by roughly 1 percent, while states that did not end benefits saw employment growth of 2.3 percent. Tweet this.
New research shows Latinx, Black, and Native third-graders lost more ground in math during the pandemic compared with Asian and white students. The data show that Latinx students performed 17 percentile points lower in spring 2021 compared with the typical achievement of Latinx third-graders during spring 2019. For Blacks, the decline was 15 percentile points; for Native students, it was 14. Asian and white students also underachieved, but the impact was less severe, a drop of 9 percentile points each. Tweet this.
More than 99.99%
The percentageof Americans who are fully vaccinated and have not had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection leading to hospitalization or death, according to the CDC. The CDC reported 6,239 hospitalizations and 1,263 deaths among fully vaccinated people as of July 26, out of a population of more than 163 million fully vaccinated people. That means less than 0.004 percent of fully vaccinated people had a breakthrough case that led to a hospitalization, and less than 0.001 percent of fully vaccinated people died from COVID-19. Tweet this.
Responding to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, the Biden Administration has announced it is directing $1.6 billion for COVID-19 testing in high-risk settings such as prisons and homeless and domestic violence shelters. And it is directing $398 million to small rural hospitals for testing and reducing infection. Tweet this.
In an Indeed survey this summer, one-third of those looking for a job said they wouldn’t want to start in the next month, and a significant share said they were waiting for the schools to open. Among those who said they were unemployed but not urgently looking, nearly one-fifth said care responsibilities were the reason. Tweet this.
Florida and New York State have roughly the same populations. Yet earlier this week, 58 people in Florida were dying each day of COVID-19, compared to six in New York. Two possible reasons: fewer vaccinated people and fewer restrictions in Florida.
Last week, one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. were in Florida and Texas.
One-fourth of unvaccinated adults in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Wednesday said they’ll probably get the shot by year’s end. But nearly half said they will “definitely not” get it and the remaining quarter called it “somewhat unlikely” or “very unlikely.” Just 34 percent of unvaccinated people said getting COVID-19 is a higher risk than getting a vaccination, while 53 percent said the vaccination is a higher risk.
The numberof states that have enacted laws with prohibitions on vaccine mandates. Such laws generally apply to public schools and employees of local governments — they generally do not apply to the private sector. Nine states also have imposed various bans on mask mandates.
Despite Texas’ anti-government mythos, a strong majority of Texans favor vaccine mandates. Sixty-five percent said they would support vaccine mandates issued by federal, state, or local governments; the national average was 64 percent. More than 70 percent of Texans would support vaccine requirements to board an airplane; more than 62 percent would support vaccine requirements for children returning to school; and 67 percent would support vaccine requirements for students returning to universities.