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Monday, December 21, 2020

By the numbers

Nineteen Tragic Facts About Covid 19

By Bill Quigley for Common Dreams

Rhode Island's grimmest statistic (
87 million. 87 million workers will lose federally mandated COVID sick leave at the end of December unless Congress acts to extend the law.

50 million. 50 million people are now facing hunger at least once a month, including 1 in 4 children.  The rate of adults who sometimes or often do not have enough to eat is double in Black and Latino homes, according to the Associated Press.

30 million. 30 million people are facing eviction as of December 31, 2020 when the current Centers for Disease Control moratorium on evictions ends. There has been a 70% increase in the number of people paying their rent by credit card

16 million. 16 million unemployed workers have already lost or will lose their federal unemployment benefits by December 26, 2020.  4.4 million people have already exhausted their federal benefits and another 12 million people stand to lose their unemployment benefits by December 26, 2020 unless Congress passes new laws, according to the Century Foundation

12 million.  As many as 12 million people who were entitled to the $1200 stimulus check never received it.

10 million. Two major national law firms and several national restaurant chains received $10 million dollars each from the Paycheck Protection Program.  More than 25% of the $500 billion in aid went to just one percent of borrowers.

7 million. 7 million more Americans, about 11%, now live in poverty, than did months ago when the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program was operating.  NBC News.

2.2 million. Since January, 2.2 million women have lost or quit their jobs or are no longer looking for work because mothers have been forced to choose between caring for their children and their jobs.

1.5 million. Of the record high 1.5 million homeless children in the US, over 400,000 have dropped off their school’s radar during the pandemic. Education Week.

1.4 million. One million four hundred thousand children have tested positive for COVID. American Academy of Pediatrics.

110,000. 110,000 restaurants have closed permanently, according to the National Restaurant Association

106,000. At least 106,000 nursing home residents and staff died from COVID as of early December, around 39% of the overall deaths reported. NBC News.

600%. Failure rates in math and English jumped 600% among low income students in some school districts recently in Maryland.   Nationally grade school students are falling significantly behind in math and the percentages may even be worse because a large percentage of students were not even present when testing was done.  Several states report that many fewer children enrolled back in school this fall than were there a year ago.

400%. Covid 19 rates are 400% higher in state and federal prisons than among the general public and the death rate is more than twice as high.  National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.  

400%. Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are four times as likely to be hospitalized for COVID than whites. CNN.

200%. The risk of being exposed to COVID at the grocery store is twice as high in low income neighborhoods as in high income neighborhoods.

37%. African Americans are 37% more likely to die from COVID than whites; Asians are 53% more likely; Hispanics 16%. 

31%. There has been a 31% increase in mental health emergency room visits for children since the pandemic began and an overall 24% increase in emergency room visits for children. Centers for Disease Control. 

16%. College applications are down 16% from first generation students and lower income students.

13. In 13 states, the unemployment benefits provided fall below the federal poverty line of $245 a week according to the Government Accountability Office. 

Bill Quigley is Associate Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.  He is a Katrina survivor and has been active in human rights in Haiti for years. He volunteers with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau de Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port au Prince. Contact Bill at