CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship July 17


July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020  

Congress returns to Washington on Monday, July 20, with deadlines only days away for expiring unemployment benefits and the end of evictions moratoriaThat’s a very dangerous combination: back rent will come due while half of American households have lost earnings and 25 million jobless people will start losing $15b per week in unemployment benefits. Senate Republicans are expected to unveil a relief bill sometime in the coming week, perhaps totaling $1 trillion – $1.4 trillion. That’s already movement from Majority Leader McConnell’s initial stance (for zero/wait and see), but it is not nearly adequate. McConnell is moving because, in light of surging caseloads (close to 3.6 million U.S. cases and 138,000 deathsand continuing hardship, people nationwide are demanding it. They want legislation that matches the need; they don’t want billions more in tax breaks for businesses. 

The Senate must join the House in enacting COVID recovery legislation similar to the House’s HEROES Act – the time is now.  

22,000 to 65,000


From June 16 to July 16, the number of daily cases of COVID-19 rose from 23,045 to 65,273 (7-day averages). Tweet this.


16,000; 2,200; 400


How many Blacks, Latinx, and Indigenous people would be alive if COVID-19 mortality rates for these groups had been the same as for whites (as of July 7). Tweet this.


+ 2.5 million


How many more people said they were unemployed in the past 7 days over a two-week period (from 7 days ending 6/23 to 7/7). Tweet this.


Half…or more


Half of all households reported that someone had lost work income since March 13.  That was true of 62% of Latinx, 58% of Black, 53.5% of Asian, and 45% of white households. Tweet this.


25 million; $15.4b


25 million jobless Americans will lose their $600/week in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation after July 26 if Congress does not act. Failing to prevent the cutoff will cost workers and the economy $15.4 billion per week starting July 27, according to the Century Foundation. Tweet this.


One in four


One-quarter of households that lost work income reported they couldn’t pay/deferred their rent in the previous month.  That was true of 28% of all Black, 22% of all Latinx, 14% of all Asian, and 12% of all white households.  The federal moratorium on evictions expires on July 25; many state/local moratoria have already ended. Tweet this.




Nearly one in four Black households with children said that in the past 7 days, they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat. True of 22% of Latinx, 9% of white, 6% of Asian households with kids.  True of 24% of households with children where someone was laid off due to the pandemic.


$6 billion, or 21%


The amount state sales tax revenues dropped in May (compared to May, 2019) because of the pandemic, according to the Tax Policy Center. That was the average; in Connecticut, New York and North Dakota, sales tax receipts dropped by one-third.  Plummeting revenues will mean cuts to state services, including education, without federal aid.




How much financial help 20m jobless workers would get from a payroll tax cut.  Employers would get billions. Total cost if in effect from April – December = $840b.  The Trump Admin has threatened to veto a new relief bill if it doesn’t include a payroll tax “holiday.


Nearly 400,000


Constituent messages to senators telling them they must enact a COVID-19 relief bill that protects people from hunger and eviction, provides health care and jobless benefits, includes state and local aid, paid leave, child care and funds for safe voting.  (These are just the messages CHN is able to track – many more have been delivered.)