The Coronarvirus Corruption Newsletter

Accountable.US Presents: The Coronavirus Crisis Corruption Watch Newsletter

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We responded to the latest news of the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services applying inappropriate pressure to government scientists and public health officials. This time, they pushed the Centers for Disease Control to reduce testing for asymptomatic patients “even as scientists warned that the policy could hobble an already weak federal response as schools reopen and a potential autumn wave looms.” This latest example of political pressure, coming just days after President Trump bullied the Food and Drug Administration into making a widely panned emergency use authorization announcement, further undermines the public’s ability to trust President Trump’s COVID-19 vaccine and treatment development programRead more here.
On August 27th, Women’s Equality Day, we released a new report highlighting the outsized burden women have been forced to bear as the COVID-19 crisis ravages the nation’s economy. Women make up a strong majority of several “essential” workforces — putting them at acute risk of COVID-19 infection as the Trump administration continuously fails to take action on hazard pay. And economic prospects have been bleak as federal aid programs for small-business owners left women, especially Black women, to fend for themselves. Read our report here.
We found that the 10 poorest congressional districts received over 56,600 fewer PPP loans than the 10 wealthiest districts — amounting to a $13.3 billion gulf. The poorest districts were also disproportionately Black, averaging a 41.8% Black population compared to the wealthiest districts’ average of 6.3% percent. This is further evidence that the CARES Act program — billed as a lifeline for struggling small businesses — was poorly designed and mismanaged by the Trump administrationLearn more
As Hurricane Laura made landfall on Louisiana’s southern coast, an executive order issued by President Trump on August 8 diverted crucial Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars from emergency efforts in order to fund enhanced unemployment benefits. Learn more here.
President Trump’s August 24th deadline for Big Pharma to come up with “something that will substantially reduce drug prices” or face his “international pricing index” executive order came and went with no word from the White House on any action. Unsurprising. Read more here.
The president announced that he will nominate Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to the permanent role of secretary. The move will put Wolf before Congress once again — after he previously lied under oath to lawmakers about his role in implementing the administration’s cruel and heinous family separation policy. The Government Accountability Office even found that his appointment as acting secretary was illegalLearn more.
Over 1 million more Americans joined the unemployment ranks in the past week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to over 27 million. But while the recession continues to deepen, the president’s Senate enablers inexcusably remain on vacation and no closer to reaching an agreement on the next major relief package. Over 100 days ago, the House of Representatives passed a comprehensive aid bill, which included a full extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefits that expired last month. Read more here.
The Congressional Oversight Commission (COC) released its August report on the CARES Act. In keeping with our recent analysis, the COC found significant issues with the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program — a relief program intended to help small- and medium-sized businesses struggling to stay afloat through the ongoing economic crisis. In practice, the Fed’s flawed execution of the program drastically limited its reach and effectiveness. It failed to help firms that needed aid the most and was called a “failure” by a COC member for its lack of distributed assistance. Learn more.

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