CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship December 11, 2020


December 11, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

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. 


1.28 million 

The number of unemployment claims for the week ending Dec. 5 – a shocking 27% increase from the previous week. (Includes state UI plus Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which issues its last check on Dec. 26 unless Congress acts.) Tweet this.


9.2 million 

The estimated number of renters (23% of all renters) who have lost employment income during the pandemic and are not caught up in rent. That’s more than twice the number of renters who have not lost income, showing how the pandemic has dramatically worsened renter hardship. Tweet this.


5% – 20% 

How much states are expected to cut spending in 2021, according to state estimates compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tweet this.



How many state and local govt. jobs lost from February through November 2020.  13,000 more jobs lost in the one month from October to November.  More than 1m education jobs lost. Tweet this.


 88 cents 

Every dollar spent on federal aid to states and localities fueled 88 cents in economic growth – the highest “bang for the buck,” according to CBO.  Every dollar spent on small business loans generated 36 cents in growth, by contrast. Tweet this.

133 per 100k; 76 per 100k 

COVID Mortality rates:  133 per 100,000 for Indigenous people in the U.S., the highest rate in the U.S.  
Blacks: 124 per 100k; Pacific Islanders: 90.4; Latinx: 87; Whites: 76. 

2,923; +49% 

2,923 deaths from COVID-19 on Dec. 10; average deaths up 49% over the average deaths from 2 weeks before.



The shocking drop among Black pre-kindergartners enrolled this fall – among Latinx children, it was 30%.



The percent of ninth-graders from low-income families who failed English this fall in Montgomery County, Maryland – up from 6% last year.



The drop in college application rates this fall – largely from Latinx and low-income students and those whose parents did not attend college.