CHN’s COVID-19: Tracking Hardship December 4, 2020


December 4, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

December 4, 2020

The #ReliefCan’tWait edition. The U.S. this week set three alarming records. New COVID-19 cases surpassed 200,000 in a single day, hospitalizations reached 100,000, and Wednesday’s death rate was nearly 2,900 – all firsts. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are teetering on an economic cliff. By Dec. 26th, 16 million Americans will have lost unemployment benefits. On New Year’s Eve, the CDC’s eviction moratorium will expire. Other help set to expire as we approach the end of the year: student loan debt relief and some paid family leave.  Funding for state and local governments that was included in the CARES Act Congress passed last spring is running out – including money to help school systems and provide for public health and safety. 

How bad is it? As case numbers spike, authorities are issuing dire warnings about overcrowded hospitals, exhausted health care workers, and expanded lockdowns. With more than 1.2 million cases reported during a one-week stretch, officials expressed concern that numbers could spike even higher due to the recent Thanksgiving holiday. One estimate: 450,000 deaths by February. 

Momentum is building in the Senate toward passage of a “down payment” on what’s truly needed.  A bipartisan group in the Senate drafted a $908 billion COVID-19 relief package, and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer have jump-started high-level negotiations by agreeing to make it the starting point for final deal-making. The package doesn’t include everything we want, and it will not solve America’s long-term health and economic problems. But we need relief now, and this aid, especially with some hoped-for improvements, will help alleviate pain and suffering in the near-term, both by helping individuals through unemployment assistance and by injecting stimulus into the economy, thereby preventing further job loss. The package includes $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for roughly four months, $160 billion in funding for state and local governments, $10 billion for child care, and $82 billion for education.  We hope those numbers will go up. It’s got money for small businesses, health care, transit, and student loan relief.  For more of CHN’s view of the need for a COVID relief down payment now, see its letter to Congress. 

But one thing is painfully clear: RELIEF CAN’T WAIT. Even if you’ve written before, please tell your Senators that time is running out for their constituents. Click here to send them emails telling them we are facing a national emergency and health crisis, and they must act. 



The estimated number of Americans who might be dead by February from COVID-19. (The number now exceeds 276,000.) Tweet this.



The number of states that said they were “greatly” or “completely” concerned about having sufficient vaccine-related supplies to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, according to a brand new GAO report. An additional 21 states said they were moderately concerned. Tweet this.


 1 in 6

1 in 6 adult renters reported that they were not caught up in rent. Tweet this.



The estimated number of excess COVID-19 cases and excess deaths between March 13 and Sept. 3 in 27 states that prematurely lifted their eviction moratoria. Experts say evictions worsen the pandemic by forcing people into homeless shelters or to move into increasingly crowded households, leading to more COVID-19 exposure. Tweet this.


Nearly 83 million 

The number of adults in the U.S. who found it somewhat or very difficult to cover usual expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, car payments, medical expenses, or student loans in the last 7 days, according to newly released Census data. That’s 1 in every 3 adults. Tweet this.



The percentage of Black adults who said it was somewhat or very difficult to cover usual household expenses. For Latinx adults, 47%, and for both white and Asian adults, 28%.




The number of elementary-age children who did not take a routine standardized test this fall. Researchers fear these students – more than one million – are “more likely to be Black and brown, more likely to be from high-poverty schools, and more likely to have had low performance in the first place.”


 3.9 million


The number of people who dropped out of the labor force In November specifically because they are unable to look for work due to the pandemic, up 300,000 from the previous month. Further, the percentage of people who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more jumped to 37% in November, up from 32.5% in October and 21% in November 2019. The pandemic is pushing people out of work.


More than 4 in 10 

The number of children living in rental housing where either food scarcity or being able to pay rent is an issue.




On Wednesday, more than 200,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the U.S., along with 100,000 hospitalizations. Both were records.