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Saturday, July 24, 2021

‘On the precipice’: How the cratering economy became a second public health crisis

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‘On the precipice’: How the cratering economy became a second public health crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on just about every aspect of basic well-being in America: Health. Housing. Food. School. Work.

Cities and states have drained their budgets and local governments are falling behind on the services they’re responsible by law to fund — even as Congress keeps teasing out a preelection political standoff and the long-term toll of the crisis deepens.

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After months of standoff, Washington is making a last-ditch effort to reach a bipartisan deal for another round of coronavirus aid. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resumed talks with Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin this week, though the two sides are still hundreds of billions of dollars apart.

Regardless, recovery could take years, with the nation’s most vulnerable enduring the worst of it. And their ranks will only continue to swell as the pandemic reshapes society, forcing more Americans out of their jobs and homes even as safety-net funding dies up.

Kids in poor households have already lost their link to schooling and free meals amid closures. More and more families are relying on charity for food — even as donations decline and local services get cut. And millions of people who’ve lived paycheck to paycheck are facing a mountain of rental debt that will subsume their other needs.

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‘On the precipice’: How the cratering economy became a second public health crisis
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