Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

The cost of Washington's coronavirus failures

President Trump’s cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus is already making the pandemic worse in his own backyard, and the failure to reach a deal on a new round of stimulus will likely make it worse all across the country, for months.

Why it matters: Heading into the winter months without a new round of stimulus in place will leave vulnerable workers without a financial safety net if they get sick — and because of that, experts say, it will likely make the pandemic itself worse.


The reasons are simple: If you can’t afford to miss work, and if there’s no temporary aid to make it feasible for you to miss work, then you’ll keep going to work — even if you’re infected. Those workers will infect others, and the virus will spread from there.

Driving the news: Trump tweeted yesterday that he has directed his administration to pause stimulus negotiations until after the election, saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "not negotiating in good faith."

  • “No doubt about it, the failure to pass this will make it much harder to contain the virus in the fall, and that means we will see larger outbreaks, more people getting sick,” Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University school of public health, told Axios last month.

Washington’s failure to put together a new stimulus package will disproportionately hurt the low-wage, front-line workers, most of them Black or Hispanic, who have borne the brunt of this entire pandemic.

  • On a smaller scale, those workers are already suffering for another of political Washington’s mistakes: the growing outbreak emanating from the White House.

Where it stands: In addition to Trump and many of his senior advisers, the White House outbreak has sickened housekeepers, military aides and reporters. Secret Service agents have also been put at risk.

  • As with any outbreak, there’s a clear concern that it could keep spreading. One reporter has infected his spouse, and if West Wing staff were as careless in their personal lives as they were at work, any number of servers, store clerks, neighbors and friends may have been exposed.
  • D.C. had done a relatively good job keeping new cases under control, but now they’re at their highest level in months, threatening the city’s plans to reopen schools.

At the Capitol, which has no formal testing regimen, 123 front-line workers have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, Roll Call reports. There, too, the burden has fallen on people just doing their jobs, including a total of 46 Capitol Police officers.

The bottom line: Official Washington is making this worse.

  • In the immediate term, the Trump administration’s carelessness is now fueling a bigger outbreak, and over the next few months, the failure to provide some financial lifeline will likely force some working people into an impossible choice between their health and their livelihoods.

regular 4 post ff

infinite scroll 4 pff

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories