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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
March 31, 2020

Democrats demand data on racial disparities in America's coronavirus response

By Jason Silverstein

March 31, 2020 / 1:09 PM / CBS News

Five Democrats in Congress are demanding data from the federal government about racial disparities in the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic. The lawmakers said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the government is "currently failing to collect and publicly report on the racial and ethnic demographic information" for COVID-19 tests and patients.

"Without demographic data, policy makers and researchers will have no way to identify and address ongoing disparities and health inequities that risk accelerating the impact of the novel coronavirus and the respiratory disease it causes," the letter said.

"Although COVID-19 does not discriminate along racial or ethnic lines, existing racial disparities and inequities in health outcomes and health care access may mean that the nation's response to preventing and mitigating its harms will not be felt equally in every community."

It is signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Robin Kelly.

The letter detailed several ways that minority communities could be hit harder by the pandemic, as well as the medical shortages and economic disruptions it has created. Black and Hispanic adults are statistically more likely to suffer from ailments like obesity, diabetes and asthma, the lawmakers say. Additionally, immigrants and people of color are also less likely to have health insurance.


March 30, 2020

Jobs Aren't Being Destroyed This Fast Elsewhere. Why Is That?

It’s not too late to start protecting employment or to make medical care for Covid-19 free.

By Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman

The authors are economists at the University of California, Berkeley.

March 30, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is laying bare structural deficiencies in America’s social programs. The relief package passed by Congress last week provides emergency fixes for some of these issues, but it also leaves critical problems untouched. To avoid a Great Depression, Congress must quickly design a more forceful response to the crisis.

Start with the labor market. In just one week, from March 15 to March 21, 3.3 million workers filed for unemployment insurance. According to some projections, the unemployment rate might rise as high as 30 percent in the second quarter of 2020.

This dramatic spike in jobless claims is an American peculiarity. In almost no other country are jobs being destroyed so fast. Why? Because throughout the world, governments are protecting employment. Workers keep their jobs, even in industries that are shut down. The government covers most of their wage through direct payments to employers. Wages are, in effect, socialized for the duration of the crisis.

Instead of safeguarding employment, America is relying on beefed-up unemployment benefits to shield laid-off workers from economic hardship. To give just one example, in both the United States and Britain, the government is asking restaurant workers to stay home. But in Britain, workers are receiving 80 percent of their pay (up to £2,500 a month, or $3,125) and are guaranteed to get their job back once the shutdown is over. In America, the workers are laid off; they must then file for unemployment insurance and wait for the economy to start up again before they can apply for a new job, and if all goes well, sign a new contract and resume working.


March 29, 2020

Rich Europeans Flee Virus for 2nd Homes, Spreading Fear and Fury

By Norimitsu Onishi and Constant Méheut

March 29, 2020
Updated 7:24 a.m. ET

ÎLE DE NOIRMOUTIER, France — On their peaceful island off France’s Atlantic Coast, some of the locals watched, with growing dread and rage, the images from Paris. As rumors began circulating about an imminent nationwide lockdown to stem the coronavirus outbreak, hordes of Parisians jammed into trains, an odd surfboard sometimes sticking out of the crowd.

There was no doubt about their destination.

“Irresponsible and selfish,” thought Dr. Cyrille Vartanian, one of the six physicians on Noirmoutier. With some time to spare — Paris was roughly five hours away — a local mayor, Noël Faucher, moved to block the only bridge to the mainland. But the national authorities said it would be illegal.

“We were powerless because people were not confined to their principal residences,” Mr. Faucher recalled, describing the influx as “an invasion.’’

Overnight, the island’s population nearly doubled, to 20,000. Nearly two weeks after the nationwide lockdown went into effect on March 17, there are about 70 suspected cases of the coronavirus on the island.


March 29, 2020

Trump must help NYC: Amanda Darrach @TheDarrach I'm at the ER in NYC, day 23 of symptoms.


This is heartbreaking. To her credit Nancy Pelosi on with Jake Tapper this am pressing about tests, tests, tests!
March 28, 2020

Rideshare Drivers United: Sign Up: Submit a Wage Claim

It’s time for drivers and other misclassified workers to enforce AB5 and show the public and the State of California how much these companies are stealing from drivers – and how it not only violates basic labor law, but is morally wrong. By not following the law, the companies are making huge profits at drivers’ and our communities’ expense.

And with our State so far not enforcing the law. it’s up to us to make that happen. That's why we made this form for misclassified so-called "gig workers."

The short 5-step form below helps guide you through the 10-minute process of filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner for all the back-pay you're owed from the last 3 years. We'll ask you to fill in all the information that the wage claim form requires, then with the provided data, our tool with perform calculations, fill out a completed wage claim form, and then submit it to the California Labor Commissioner via email, with your email address cc'd.


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