The escalating coronavirus pandemic could reverse decades of gains in the fight against poverty, as U.S. government aid for the vulnerable dries up.
In the early months of the crisis, the federal Cares Act, which gave an extra $600 a week in unemployment assistance and $1,200 stimulus checks, helped prevent poverty from dramatically deepening. But that lifeline for low-income earners is being cut off.
Unemployment benefits are set to expire for millions of workers in late December and talks over a new stimulus package have stalled — just as some states reimpose job-hammering lockdowns to halt a surge in cases.
BOSTON (AP) — A nationwide eviction ban was supposed to protect tenants like Tawanda Mormon, who was forced out of her two-bedroom apartment last month in Cleveland.
The 46-year-old, who was hospitalized in August for the coronavirus and can’t work due to mental health issues, said she fell behind on her $500-a-month rent because she needed the money to pay for food. When she was evicted in October, Mormon said she was unaware of President Donald Trump’s directive, implemented in September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that broadly prevents evictions through the end of 2020.
American billionaires haven’t been just immune to the pandemic, they have been thriving in it, drastically increasing their collective wealth. An analysis by Chuck Collins at the Institute for Policy Studies found that American billionaires have been their wealth grow by $1 trillion since March of this year – more than 34 percent. That was not the case during the 2008 financial crisis when it took Forbes’ 400 richest people three years to recoup their losses from the Great Recession. Collins’ findings highlight a wealth gain by a mere 650 individuals that seems obscene at a time when nearly 7 million Americans are at risk of eviction when moratoriums expire at the end of the year.