How Federal Funding Failed to Match Each State's COVID Outbreak
Since late March, Congress has approved over $3 trillion in relief funds. The aid has been disbursed to state governments, individuals, and businesses through four aid packages: an $8 billion measure in early March; an approximately $192 billion measure in mid-March; the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March; and most recently a $484 billion measure replenishing relief funds in late April.
The House approved on Friday, May 15, the HEROES Act, which would allocate another $3 trillion in relief funds. The proposal is unlikely to be enacted as Republicans and President Donald Trump oppose the bill.
The federal relief measures are intended to support individual, business, and local government efforts to combat the COVID-19 health crisis and the economic fallout from the ongoing social distancing measures. Here are every state’s rules for staying at home and social distancing.
And yet, while the CARES Act is the largest economic stimulus package ever passed in U.S. history, the size of each state’s relief package was not determined by the severity of each state’s COVID-19 outbreak. Each state received at least $1 billion in federal aid.
Wyoming, for example, which had 577 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 19, or about 100 cases per 100,000 people, has been allocated nearly $3 billion in relief funds. In total, this is the lowest amount of all states. Compared to the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of unemployment claims, however, it is over a hundred times greater than the aid allocated to states like Louisiana and Connecticut, which have reported some of the nation’s largest coronavirus outbreak and unemployment claim figures.
To determine how federal funding failed to match each state’s coronavirus outbreak, 24/7 Wall St. compared the combined total funds allocated to each state across the 10 COVID-19 relief funds the U.S. government authorized with each state’s COVID-19 cases as of May 19 and each state’s initial unemployment claims filed since the middle of March.