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COVID

I Must Regretfully Reiterate: JUST GIVE US THE FUCKING MONEY

It's that simple.

Screenshot: C-SPAN

Things are real, real bad pretty much everywhere in the United States.

And these are the kinds of “solutions” we’re seeing from most elected officials in charge of keeping people safe.

In addition, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is attempting to limit private in-home gatherings to 10 people. This is not a bad strategy for pandemic mitigation by itself, but the message sent by keeping restaurants open (until most of them close anyway) but not letting family see each other is fundamentally the same one sent by Republican governors pushing herd immunity: capital is the priority, not your well-being. The news that New York City may close its public schools, which have seen very low infection rates, while maintaining indoor dining, which has been one of the most notorious spreaders of COVID across the country, is more evidence of this.

We have repeated ourselves many times about this on Discourse Blog, but that is because there is one clear and obvious solution to this crisis. Let me say it again: the only way to fix this is to shut everything down and for governments, especially the federal government, to pay people to stay home to keep restaurants and other affected businesses afloat in the meantime. Report after report has shown that restaurants, gyms, coffee shops, and other places where groups of people spend a long period of time inside in close contact with one another are the main contributors of viral spread. We know what the problem is, we’re just not fixing it. At least one doctor on the Biden coronavirus task force agrees:

Talks about a stimulus package broke down prior to the election, largely because no one really wanted it, least of all Senate Republicans. With the election over and the GOP looking likely to hang on to its Senate majority, Mitch McConnell has revived plans for a “highly targeted bill” rather than an actual stimulus similar to the CARES Act passed earlier this year.

What McConnell wants to do is not enough, because it does not provide financial security and the incentive for people to stay home. It will presumably not contain the measures, like the $1200 stimulus checks and $600 a week in unemployment insurance which kept so many millions of people above water this year. Unless McConnell pulls a 180 on his guiding political principle when Democrats are in power, which is creating horrible conditions so the Republicans can win elections, this fact—along with the minimum wage—is all the Democrats should be talking about for the next two months until the Georgia Senate runoffs.

The problem is old now, but the solution is the same: just give people money so they can stay home and not contract and spread COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.