CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship December 11, 2020
December 11, 2020
Disaster Relief or Disaster edition. We were starting to feel encouraged. A bipartisan group of Senators came up with a COVID package that is essentially short-term disaster relief. More will be needed. But the disaster we’re in keeps worsening, and you wouldn’t think senators would be willing to go home for the holidays with 12 million workers losing unemployment aid on December 26 and eviction moratorium and paid leave expiring just in time for New Year’s. But Mitch McConnell continues to preside over a caucus that seems prepared to do the unthinkable.
We could have disaster relief, but Majority Leader McConnell and his caucus seem willing to give us a second helping of disaster.
They can stop state and local governments from having to lay off even more workers. They can keep income flowing to growing numbers of the jobless while the surging pandemic is killing thousands of us every day and stalling the economy. They can provide funding so states can prepare to distribute millions of doses of vaccines. They can help people get enough to eat and stop them from getting turned out of their homes.
Or they can refuse to help their own states and schools – their people – and hold out to keep employers immune from COVID-related lawsuits.
Just look at this week’s cheerless numbers: a spike in unemployment claims – up 27 percent from the week before. Children of color and children with low incomes falling behind or not even attending school. Amid shocking numbers of cases and deaths, continued higher mortality rates for people of color. And new estimates show states are expected to slash their budgets 5-20 percent in the coming year because revenues are down and federal aid is running out.
So, take a minute. Even if you’ve written before, click here to send emails to your Senators. Tell them: no more disaster. We need disaster relief.