Parsing Policy: Congress Needs To Step Up Fast To Prevent More Suffering; Where’s The Data?
Editorial pages focus on keys issues the government needs to address to help ease pandemic problems.
The Washington Post:
Republicans Are Out Of Time. Congress Must Approve More Coronavirus Spending Now.
House Democrats passed a comprehensive coronavirus relief bill in May. Republicans waited. Now, with federal economic aid expiring at month’s end, they cannot agree among themselves on a plan, let alone forge a compromise with Democrats. The GOP is out of time, and there is no reasonable alternative to continuing massive federal aid. Republicans must admit the obvious and get a bill passed, immediately. (7/22)
Los Angeles Times:
McConnell Dawdles As $600 Unemployment Benefit Set To Expire
Congress responded to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic in March with astonishing speed (by congressional standards), enacting three bipartisan-backed measures in quick succession to increase coronavirus testing, extend sick leave to more workers and, most dramatically, inject more than $2 trillion into the collapsing U.S. economy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has shown no such urgency since then. And now, one of the most important elements of the third measure, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, is about to expire, slashing benefits to millions of laid-off Americans even though unemployment is worse now than in the depths of the Great Recession. The CARES Act increased unemployment benefits by $600 a week, but that support is set to end this week. (7/23)
The New York Times:
We Searched For Covid-19 Data. Here’s What We Couldn’t Find.
Doctors caring for patients track vital signs of temperature, blood pressure, breathing and pulse. Public health doctors fighting epidemics do something similar — they track the most important indicators of the spread of a disease and attempts to control it. During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, for example, with coordination from the National Security Council at the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced a weekly dashboard that graded how well each country was doing on the steps to stop the disease. This focused attention on where Ebola was spreading and what needed to be done to stop it. But today, the White House is not guiding our response to Covid-19, and neither the C.D.C. nor any other part of the government has been empowered to play this role. We aren’t tracking the public health equivalent of vital signs. That’s one big reason the United States is losing the battle against Covid-19. (Tom Frieden and Cyrus Shahpa, 7/21)
Congress Cannot Sacrifice Patient Health And Access To Medical Care
“Thank you for calling to check on me but I only have 10 minutes left on my phone this month, and I want to save them. Can I just keep my appointment and come in?” Our hearts broke as our patient, Betty, shared these words. By calling a patient to care for her remotely during the pandemic, we unknowingly forced a choice between Betty’s connection with the outside world or potential exposure to the coronavirus. No one should have to make such a choice. (Eboni Winford and Terri Sabella, 7/22)
European Union Coronavirus Recovery Plan Is A Sign Of Progress
After a marathon four-day summit, Europe’s leaders finally reached agreement on their coronavirus recovery plan. The resulting package isn’t all it should’ve been, and things might yet go wrong as the plan is implemented. Their deal is nonetheless an important step forward. The scheme strikes a compromise between the governments that wanted a bold new fiscal stimulus directed especially toward the European Union’s worst-hit economies, and others more concerned with maintaining fiscal discipline and avoiding the creation of a so-called transfer union. It allows the European Commission to borrow 750 billion euros and use the proceeds to help struggling economies over the next three years — allocating 390 billion euros in the form of non-refundable grants and the rest as loans. (7/22)
America's Aviation Sector Might Collapse Due To COVID — It Might Be A Good Thing
The economic carnage and social disruption wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every part of the economy, but few sectors have suffered as much as aviation. This week alone, the three major U.S. airlines announced furloughs for thousands of staff. As Congress and the administration contemplate further measures to aid America’s faltering economy, they can’t afford to ignore aviation and its broad economic impact, including the 11 million aviation-related jobs supported by its $1.8T economy, representing 5 percent of U.S. GDP. (Megan S. Ryerson, 7/22)
The Washington Post:
The Risks Of Herd Immunity To Trump’s Corruption
We could all spend a lot of intellectual energy debating whether President Trump’s failures are due primarily to corruption or incompetence, but it would be a waste of time.Understanding that his incompetence flows from his corruption should animate the arguments against his reelection and inspire the work journalists do in making sense of the chaotic mess Trump has made of our government. (E.J. Dionne, 7/22)
Trump Undermines New Virus Strategy By Hiding Experts And Facts
President Donald Trump's new political self-preservation effort to show he has a grip on a pandemic that is killing hundreds of Americans every day is being exposed by his refusal to share the stage with scientific experts -- or the facts. On a day that laid bare his refashioned campaign strategy, Trump hammered out a tough law-and-order push, escalated a Cold War with China and tried to show he is managing the fight against Covid-19 after weeks of neglect. (Stephen Collinson, 7/23)