CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship October 9, 2020


October 9, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

October 9, 2020

“Altered state” edition. President Trump, infected by COVID-19 and then taking a number of powerful medications, called off COVID-19 negotiations, then urged continued talks for a limited package, then was quoted as calling for a bigger package. He was interviewed saying he was cured by his drugs, but that he might not have needed them, and suggested that he was not contagious – even as more than 30 people in his immediate orbit became infected. Speaker Pelosi, who was attempting to negotiate relief, speculated that the President was “in an altered state.” Hard to tell, but two themes were emerging: resistance to even compromise levels of state and local aid sought by Democrats and whipsaw reactions to Wall Street downturns, as stocks plunged whenever it appeared there would be no deal. The truth is, the economy is anything but strong. Job growth is slowing. We are still 12 million jobs below where we should be. People continue to struggle to put food on the table and pay rent and other bills. The gender and racial disparities are shocking – four times as many women as men have suddenly left the workforce. And we run the risk of an economy that is spiraling ever downward. Economists worry that as businesses cut more jobs, people will have less money to spend, which means they will spend less at stores, restaurants, and other companies, putting those workers at risk.  

There is a solution: the Economic Policy Institute estimates that most of our job losses could be reversed if Congress restores the $600/week unemployment benefit and funds state and local aid (see below). These expenditures, along with the other provisions in a comprehensive package, sustain spending, jobs, and people’s lives. Which remain at risk, as COVID-19 cases rise to 7.6 million and deaths approach 213,000. 

Meanwhile, Senators remain missing in action. Senators particularly in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina need to hear from you! Scroll down to see sample tweets that you can send to these senators. 


-12 million 

In September, the U.S. was more than 12 million jobs below projected levels if there had been no recession.


+10.4 million 

Jobs gained if Congress and the Trump Administration would agree to restore the $600/week unemployment benefit (5.1m jobs) and provide more state and local aid (5.3m jobs).



2.4 million 


The number of long-term unemployed (more than half a year) jumped 781,000 in September, to 2.4 million.The economy is slowing. While 661,000 jobs were created in September, that was less than half the jobs growth in August (nearly 1.5m jobs gained then).




Four times as many women as men dropped out of the workforce in September. Of the workers who left, 865.000 (80%) were women, including 324,000 Latinx and 58,000 Black women.




The percentage of restaurants who say they could close within six months without additional aid; already, 100,000 across the U.S. have closed since the pandemic began (1 in 6 restaurants; 3 million restaurant staff are out of work).



Nearly half 


Nearly half (49%) of small businesses said they can’t make it past the end of the year without federal relief.



1.2 million 


There were 1.2 million fewer state and local employees in September than there were in February, before the pandemic’s impact.  And more cuts are coming: California plans to cut or delay funding for K-12 and higher education by close to $1.7 billion if no federal aid is approved by October 15.


About 1 in 5


The number of people in households with children who said they were behind in rent. Particularly hard hit were Latinx and Black households, and households with incomes under $35,000.


11.6 million


The number of people in households with children that didn’t have enough to eat in the previous week – nearly 14% of all households with children. That was true for one in five Latinx and Black households with children.


$900 to just over $300


The drop in the average weekly unemployment payment from early this summer to the end of July, after the $600 weekly federal UI payment expired.




Tweet to key Senators: it’s very important that Senators hear our concern, click links below to tweet.

Example tweet message to Senator Collins of Maine:
.@SenatorCollins, #DoYourJob and pass a robust #COVIDRelief package before leaving DC. The people of Maine cannot wait any longer. 63,000 adults are not having enough to eat- that’s 7% of all ME adults.

Click the link below to send a similar tweet to:

AZ: Senator McSally

CO: Senator Gardner

GA: Senator Perdue, Senator Loeffler

IA: Senator Ernst, Senator Grassley

KE: Senator McConnell

ME: Senator Collins

MT: Senator Daines

MO: Senator Blunt, Senator Hawley

NC: Senator Tillis

SC: Senator Graham