I’m not a scientist but I have a handful of friends who are really good ones, plus I did pass “the Regents” in Bio, Chem, and Physics in the early 1970s. With honors! Seriously, I do remember something about the scientific method and the gathering of data and statistical samples. Accordingly, every scientist I’ve heard says we missed the opportunity to get a better handle on the situation by failing to do early, continuing testing of a wide, random sample of Americans. Now, in addition to the failure of national leadership to inaugurate and facilitate widespread testing, they also failed to arrange for increased production of test kits (along with ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment to safeguard our health care professionals) as the disease spread elsewhere, so that testing is only done – when it is – only on the symptomatic. So now we have to begin having the very difficult, adult discussions like the one on Smerconish on CNN Saturday.
Money for the People to Save Our Economy
The federal stimulus package passed on Friday includes:
- Increasing unemployment insurance by $600 per week for a four-month period, and extending benefits to part-time workers, gig economy workers, freelancers, and workers on furlough who are still receiving health insurance from their employers.
- Workers who are already receiving unemployment benefits are also eligible for an additional thirteen weeks of benefits.
- Providing individuals and families with a one-time direct payment of $1,200 per person, with an additional $500 per child.
All taxpayers with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents are eligible for these payments, although the payments start to phase out for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was above $75,000 ($150,000 joint) on their 2019 tax return (or 2018 if the taxpayer has not yet filed their 2019 taxes). There’s additional detail in The New York Times FAQs.
My Congressman Eliot Engel writes more about the stimulus package, and the struggle to get it passed, in his most recent message.
I end with a few more links. The first article includes a Newsweek interview with my friend and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and features the above photo of local volunteer Rhiannon Navin, another friend, my terrific campaign co-manager and overall great person. My sister Susan, who lives in Hawaii, was surprised to turn on the national news and see our mayor on TV. Noam and our friend and County Executive George Latimer have represented us well, both in advocacy and in the national press. Here’s George’s most recent interview with Rachel Maddow.
Finally, a progressive’s paean to our Governor, to end with a bit of the light-heartedness we all need from time to time in order to survive. Help, I Think I’m In Love With Andrew Cuomo???
Keep safe. Be well.