COVID-19

CDC set to testify on Capitol Hill on its budget, as it responds to COVID-19

Kimberly Adams Mar 10, 2020
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President Donald Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force at a press briefing on Feb. 29, 2020. Alex Wong/Getty Images
COVID-19

CDC set to testify on Capitol Hill on its budget, as it responds to COVID-19

Kimberly Adams Mar 10, 2020
President Donald Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force at a press briefing on Feb. 29, 2020. Alex Wong/Getty Images
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Leaders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are set to testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning. The hearing itself is officially about the president’s 2021 budget request for the agency. But in the month or so since President Donald Trump sent that budget to Congress, the COVID-19 outbreak has completely changed the public health landscape.

The budget proposal for the CDC cut funding to the agency by about 16%. Now with an $8 billion funding package that was just signed into law, Jay Shambaugh at the Brookings Institution says “you’re seeing continued activity to try to make sure anything that needs to be funded from a public health standpoint is funded.”

Right now, thanks to low interest rates, the government can borrow money cheaply, according to Desmond Lachman at the American Enterprise Institute. 

“It takes time to spend that kind of money efficiently,” Lachman said. “So I wouldn’t expect an increase in the very near future.”

Shambaugh said the money is good in the short term, but the conversation is different now.

“But now there’s a much broader conversation in Congress about an appropriate kind of fiscal response that stretches beyond the immediate funding the public health agencies as well,” he said.

Such “responses” include tax cuts or paid sick leave that may address other consequences of the outbreak.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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