COVID-19 Updates 04/08/2020
Happy Passover. We hope you are able to find a virtual way to celebrate with your family and loved ones!
- A dozen advocacy groups are calling on Congress to provide more than $200 billion in additional stimulus funding for education, a sharp increase from the $31 billion provided in the last rescue bill signed into law.
- The American Federation of Teachers wrote in a letter to congressional lawmakers that $175 Billion is needed for K12 education at the state level. In addition, Congress should also provide $13 billion for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and $12 billion for Title I to help low-income schools address.
- Lastly, AFT said that federal infrastructure funding must include “explicit support for schools.”
- Today, Democrats released their own set of demands for an interim COVID-19 package. Republicans are trying to quickly push through $250 billion in additional funds for small businesses later this week
- Pelosi and Schumer said Wednesday they would agree to the GOP request but only if certain conditions are met. These conditions include half of the $250 billion in new funding for small businesses to flow through “community-based” banks that serve women, veteran, and minority-owned businesses. In addition to that extra funding, they want $150 billion for state and local governments, $100 billion for hospitals and a 15 percent hike to the maximum SNAP benefit.
- Schumer and Pelosi said the deal this week is just to provide temporary relief and they still plan to pursue a much larger legislative package in the coming weeks, as the virus continues to disrupt nearly every aspect of American life.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday his department and the Federal Reserve hope to provide more details this week on an emergency lending facility directed toward medium-sized businesses, which have not yet benefited from the $2 trillion economic rescue package signed into law last month.
- He said the facility would be aimed at businesses with more than 500 employees that don’t have access to the Fed’s corporate credit facilities, which will buy debt issued by large companies.
- About 1 in 3 people (or 33%) who become sick enough to require hospitalization from COVID-19 were African American, according to data from the CDC. This is striking because African Americans are only 13% of the U.S. population.
- The number shed light on the long-standing racial disparities in health care in the U.S.
- During a White House Press briefing, Dr. Fauci said that African Americans do not seem more likely to be infected by coronavirus. However, due to other underlying medical conditions such as asthma and hypertension, may make it more likely that African Americans are admitted to the ICU or die. “We really do need to address the health disparities that exist in the U.S.”, Fauci said.
A Closer Look at the Emergency Health Funding focused on hospital relief
COVID-19 Update: 16,239 cases in all 67 counties and 310 known deaths.
- Today the Independent Fiscal Office released a report saying that the coronavirus outbreak could cost Pennsylvania $2.7 billion in lost tax revenue over the next 15 months. This estimate assumes that businesses can reopen by April 27th. If businesses have to remain closed for another six weeks, the state could lose up to $3.7 billion.
- Matthew Knittel, director of the fiscal office said that “Taxpayers should be prepared for a significant reduction in state resources. What we’re seeing, there’s just no precedent for it.”
- These numbers do not take into account the $50 billion in federal funds that will be coming to PA.
- The office also found that unemployment claims could cost the state between $4.5 billion and $6 billion by the end of the next fiscal year.
- The state Department of Revenue, which produces the official revenue estimates on which the budget is based, has not released any numbers on the fiscal impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Gov. Wolf has asked the legislature to consider a limited plan to release no more than 450 of the state’s 45,000 justice-involved individuals.
- The legislation was drafted by the Department of Corrections and was revised by the Republican leadership. Those selected would be sent to a transitional facility or placed under home confinement.
- Gov. Wolf also has the executive power to release justice-involved individuals.
COVID-19 Update: 4,777 confirmed cases and 78 deaths from COVID-19.
- The fund currently has $12 million in pledges and gifts. Grants will be made weekly to community-based organizations that support residents in three primary capacities: food and basic needs, protection of vulnerable groups, and medical care and information.
- City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley pushed back against an assertion by the White House that Philadelphia could become a virus hot spot. He said that maybe the White House was using older data for their models.
- Gov. Wolf appeared to embrace the White House’s concerns saying that “While it’s not good news that Philadelphia and the Southeastern part of the state are seen as a hotspot, it is going to be helpful in getting more resources.”
- Wolf said he learned in a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence, that “the federal government is actually bumping Pennsylvania up in terms of priority for getting this scarce personal protective equipment.”
- A University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model anticipates that PA peak demand for hospital resources will happen on April 13th. On that day, the model predicted, patients would need 2,180 hospital beds and 418 intensive care unit beds.
- Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw made an announcement this morning requiring all of its 6,500 members to wear cloth masks.
- Officers have been instructed to place masks on the faces of city residents whom they arrest.