Center for American Progress

To save thousands of lives, Congress must extend unemployment benefits and paid leave
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To save thousands of lives, Congress must extend unemployment benefits and paid leave

Lily Roberts and Sarah Jane Glynn explain how Congress can save thousands of lives this winter by including paid leave and unemployment insurance in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Predictions for the coming months are dire. In much of the country, the rate of COVID-19 infections is higher than it was last spring. Vaccines are already being administered in the U.K. and should soon begin to be administered in the U.S., but the pandemic is not over yet. Epidemiologists predict that by spring 2021, when it is likely a vaccine may become more widely available, another 200,000 to 300,000 Americans will die from the virus.

The No. 1 public-health goal between now and when vaccines can be widely distributed must be to prevent as many cases (and therefore as many deaths) as possible. Structuring a relief deal in the Senate to support unemployed people and allow those who are sick to take time off from work will do the most to prevent new cases and keep the economy afloat over the next few months.

The above excerpt was originally published in MarketWatch. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Lily Roberts

Managing Director

Sarah Jane Glynn

Senior Fellow