CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship July 31, 2020


July 31, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

July 31, 2020 

Eyes Upon the Senate Edition. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) let the clock run out on the $600/week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) and the federal moratorium on evictions. As you read this, neither are in place. It will take perhaps two weeks for states to reprogram to restore a flat level of PUC; months more to try for a certain percentage of prior earnings, as the Senate “HEALS” Act eventually calls for.  Now, McConnell is abandoning the $1T HEALS Act to try to get a bill that provides $200/week in extra pandemic aid, and does nothing else – no help for those facing eviction, no state/local aid, no SNAP increase, no Medicaid funds, no cash stimulus payments,  no vaccine research, treatment, or testing funds, no child care, no paid leave…At the same time, the Economic Policy Institute tells us that for the 19th week in a row, jobless claims were higher than twice the worst week of the Great Recession.  In the week ending July 25, there were 2 million claims, counting regular and self-employed/gig workers. The Senate must reject a cynical vote for grossly inadequate unemployment benefits while ignoring all the other urgent needs created by the pandemic.  Instead, they should vote for the House’s $3T+ HEROES Act, or something similar. Tweet that. 

-$600 for 25 million 

25 million jobless people have lost their $600/week unemployment aid boost because the Senate Republican leadership failed even to put a bill forward before it expired. Tweet at the Senate.


-$90 billion 

How much the Senate Republican UI plan to slash the $600/wk enhanced UI to $200 will cost the jobless and the economy by Sept. 30 (a drop of $10 billion per week). Tweet this. 


None; 70% 

No evidence found that people with higher UI benefits than their previous earnings were less likely to return to work.  In fact, 70% of those returning to work in May and June were paid more in UI than their previous wage. Tweet this.


14.8 million 

The number of households that couldn’t pay their rent in the past month.  (More than 1 in 5 – but closer to 30% for Latinx (27%), Black households (30%), households with children (28%). Tweet this.


29 million 

29 million people in 13 million households are at risk of eviction by year’s end if Congress does nothing.  (The Senate COVID package does not extend the nowexpired eviction moratorium or provide rent assistance; the House bill does.) Tweet this.


$1 gets you $2 

$1 spent on increasing the federal share of Medicaid costs adds about $2 to the gross domestic product (GDP), making it a highly effective form of stimulus; it provides health care in a pandemic, too.


84%; $0 

84% of people polled favored $1 trillion in federal aid to states and localities for all services, including aid for education and to increase the federal share of Medicaid.  Amount in Senate bill for general state/local aid and Medicaid = $0.


9.8 million 

The number of children living in food insecure households who didn’t have enough to eat (sometimes or often) in the past week (surveyed in week ending July 21).


26% higher 

The use of emergency rooms by children (age 2-17) in food insecure households, compared with otherwise similar children in food secure households.


More than 152,000 

Deaths as of July 30 from  COVID-19.  8,139 more deaths over just the past 7 days. The age-adjusted Black death rate from COVID is 3.7x that of whites; for Indigenous people, it is 3.5x that of whites. (as of July 22).