CHN’S COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship June 19


June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020

It is Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, the U.S. Army reached Galveston, TX to tell enslaved Black Americans that they were free, 2 months after the Civil War had ended with Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. We celebrate freedom today, but we also must confront that we are not two months late, but 155 years late in ridding the nation of the scourge of racism. That scourge is killing Black Americans ages 45-54 at 7 times the rate of white Americans from COVID-19. It means more Blacks and Latinx are losing income from work during the pandemic than whites, more work in frontline jobs and cannot work safely at home, more Blacks and Latinx are poor, more do not have enough to eat, and more are falling behind in their rent. And yet the Senate is still late, with no intention to take up more COVID legislation until mid-July, and no certainty that Majority Leader McConnell or the Trump Administration will support proposals most likely to prevent hunger, homelessness, harm to children and long-term joblessness still disproportionately visited upon Blacks, Latinx, and Native Americans. The Senate must join the House in enacting COVID recovery legislation similar to the House’s HEROES act.

7 to 1
Black Americans die at hugely disproportionate rates from COVID-19, and are more likely to die at younger ages. For 45-54 year-olds, Blacks die at 7 times the rate for Whites. (The Black death rate for this age group is 28 per 100,000; for whites, it is 4 per 100,000. The death rate is also far higher for Latinx, whose death rate at this age is 24 per 100,000.) Click to tweet.

118,758/ 2.2 million
Number of confirmed deaths/cases in the US, as of 6/19/20 from John Hopkins University. Click to tweet.

Only 20 percent of Black workers and 16% of Latinx workers are able to work at home. Workers required to go to worksites are more likely to contract COVID-19. Tweet this.

3 times
Latinx people were 3 times more likely than Whites to lack health insurance (19.1% vs. 6.3%). Black uninsured: 8.1%; Asian, 5.2%, for week ending June 9. Tweet this.

3 times
People in households where someone lost income from work were 3x as likely to be uninsured as people in households where no one lost work income (13.5% vs. 4.5%, week ending June 9). Tweet this.

More than half
For more than half of Latinx, Black and Asian households, someone lost income from work since March 13 (through June 9). Latinx: 60.5%; Black: 51%; Asian: 52%. For whites, 43%. Tweet this.

Nearly one in four
23.5% of Black households with children sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the previous week. For Latinx households with children: 18.6%; for whites: 9%; for Asians: 7.5%. Tweet this.

29 percent
Households with children that sometimes or often did not have enough food in past 7 days if respondent had been laid off due to the pandemic. Tweet this.

Up 24 percent from Feb. to May
The number of non-elderly people living in families with combined weekly earnings below the federal poverty line rose by 24 percent from February to May, from 60.4m to 75.2m people. For Blacks, people in families with earnings below poverty rose by 27 percent; for Latinx, up 29%; for whites, up 17%. Tweet this.

More than one-quarter
Nearly 27 percent of Black American households didn’t pay or deferred their rent in the previous month. That’s more than twice the rate for whites (12.6%). For Latinx households, 24%; for Asian households, 10%. Tweet this.

More than 1 in 5
The proportion of all workers either receiving or applying for unemployment benefits through June 13.  Tweet this.

28 over 10 percent
28 states are expected to see revenue losses of at least 10 percent in at least one of the years between 2020-2022. Without federal help, states will be forced to cut services. Tweet this.

Hot #1; Guess again
Arizona has had the steepest growth in COVID-19 cases in the country since Gov. Ducey lifted the stay-at-home order May 15. Between May 31 – June 6, 7,121 new confirmed cases. 6/17 alone: 1,827 new cases. Is it just due to more testing? No –the number of tests rose, but the percentage of positive tests climbed from 5% on May 10 to 15% June 7. Statewide, masks are not required. Tweet this.

From 50% to 100%; zero?
The Trump Administration is reported to favor increasing the tax deduction for business meals from 50% to 100%, intended to increase customers in restaurants. Close to zero is the likeliest guess for how many business people afraid of COVID-19 would go to a restaurant because of a bigger tax break. Tweet this.

Number of days until the $600 per week in additional unemployment insurance expires (July 31). These funds are preventing families from going without food, although even now, 29% of households with children don’t have enough to eat. At about the same time, the moratorium on evictions will be expiring. Ending the $600 payment at the same time will ensure massive numbers of evictions. The House HEROES bill would extend the payments through the end of 2020. Tweet this.