Why much more coronavirus relief is needed

Government aid on a large scale is needed to help Americans facing deep financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In a February 18, 2021 article in The Conversation, three experts from the Department of Health Policy and ManagementMary Findling, research associate, John Benson, senior research scientist, and Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, emeritus—wrote that public opinion surveys they conducted last summer show that, despite trillions of dollars in government assistance, “the aid didn’t put much of a dent into the financial problems faced by families earning less than $100,000.” They added, “Many people were struggling—and still are—just to pay for basic necessities, like food and rent.”

They wrote that their findings suggest “a definite need for further government aid on a large scale for tens of millions of families.”

Another group of Harvard Chan School experts also called for substantially more government relief in a February 17 opinion piece in the New York Daily News. Nancy Krieger, professor of social epidemiology, Christian Testa, data analyst and programmer, Pamela Waterman, project director, and Jarvis Chen, lecturer—urged political leaders to “go big” on economic relief for people and communities across the U.S. They cited “the miseries of COVID-19 and its economic determinants and impacts,” noting high rates of COVID-19 deaths, food insecurity, and inability to pay rent, with the brunt of the impact falling on people of color.

Read The Conversation article: Americans still need a lifeline despite trillions in coronavirus aid

Read the New York Daily News article: Attack America’s overlapping miseries: Why going big on relief is an economic, public health and moral imperative