On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2 trillion relief bill is meant to provide crucial support to individuals, businesses, and local governments with the COVID-19 crisis.
Approximately $150 billion of the CARES Act funding — the Coronavirus Relief Fund — is designated for state, local, and tribal governments, and territories. Funding is allocated to states using a population-based formula that provides roughly $425 per state resident. All states will receive at least $1.25 billion in relief funding, so states with fewer than 4 million residents are entitled to much higher amounts of funding per capita.
While the CARES Act is the largest economic stimulus package ever passed in U.S. history, the blunt funding formula may ignore the relative severity of each state’s COVID-19 problem and leave some states without adequate funding.
Wyoming, for example, which has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, is set to receive over 120 times more funding per COVID-19 case than New York, which tops this list of the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.
To determine federal funding to states per COVID-19 case, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as well as 2019 population data from the Census Bureau. Data on COVID-19 case and death counts was collected from state and local health departments by 24/7 Wall St. and is current as of April 16, 2020.