Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump called off negotiations with congressional Democrats on federal Covid-19 relief until after Election Day, the U.S. Census Bureau released new survey results showing that millions of American households are anticipating income loss and layoffs as well as evictions and foreclosures as the coronavirus pandemic drags on in the coming weeks.
Based on responses to the Household Pulse Survey collected during the final two weeks of September, almost a third of adults across the country—and over half of those in the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Wyoming—are in households that are somewhat or very likely to experience an eviction or foreclosure within the next two months.
Nationwide, nearly a quarter of American adults expect a loss in employment income for their household over the next four weeks. About 32% said "it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic," and over 10% reported their families sometimes or often not having enough to eat within the past week.
Based on responses collected September 16-28, the #HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 24.0% of American adults expect someone in their household to experience a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks. https://t.co/GRo2WSpDD5 #Census #COVID19 #Income_Loss
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) October 7, 2020
The Census Bureau's latest data on American suffering during the public health crisis illustrate the intense need for relief on a national scale as Trump has walked away from talks and instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to instead focus his attention on confirming Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before November 3.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the United States had more than 7.5 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and over 211,000 people had died. Despite the country's mounting caseload and death toll, Congress and the White House have failed to reach another deal to help those struggling since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Trump signed in March.
While the Democrat-controlled House has passed multiple relief packages over the past six months, Senate Republicans and Trump officials have rejected those measures and put forth less ambitious proposals. Since Tuesday afternoon, progressive lawmakers and other critics of the president—who is currently battling Covid-19—have blasted his decision to halt negotiations:
Donald Trump is all about doing things for the people when it’s a drive-by parade, a balcony show, or super-spreader campaign rallies—anything for applause.
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But when it comes to relief for struggling families, he's nothing but selfish and vindictive. https://t.co/8kiMwfIX83
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 7, 2020
After receiving the best socialized health care in the world Trump just said "no" to providing any relief to the unemployed, the uninsured or the hungry. But he's still pushing the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who will strip health care from 20 million. How pathetic.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 6, 2020
Some critics have highlighted other data and reporting about how Americans are struggling, such as an NBC News piece published Tuesday about hunger that notes a recent analysis projecting food insecurity will ultimately reach 52 million people due to Covid-19—or an increase of 17 million people from before the pandemic.
Everything is not fine. To pretend Americans don't need a #StimulusBill passed immediately is a slap in the face to millions who are struggling to get by during this economic and health crisis. https://t.co/7nzHyCfLu3
— OxfamAmerica (@OxfamAmerica) October 6, 2020
Discussing Trump's decision on ABC's "The View," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that "he's rebounding from a terrible mistake he made yesterday and the Republicans in Congress are going down the drain with him on that." Urging his advisers to stage an intervention, she reiterated that "it is really important for us to come to this agreement."
.@SpeakerPelosi tells @TheView Pres. Trump made a “terrible mistake” when he announced he was calling coronavirus relief negotiations off until after the election and changed course because he “saw the political downside of his statement of walking away.” https://t.co/ICL6fkcngO pic.twitter.com/2o1b5htjAO
— The View (@TheView) October 7, 2020