Mapped: How the $150B Coronavirus Relief Fund Gets Divided
As the Coronavirus pandemic spread to the United States, government leaders at local to national levels realized the problem on their hands. The U.S. hospital system wasn’t set up to handle the potential influx of critical care patients. In a series of unprecedented actions, officials began limiting movement of citizens, while outright shuttering businesses temporarily. This led to dire predictions of depression level activity and the highest weekly unemployment claims ever recorded.
- New York currently has nearly half the Coronavirus cases in the U.S. but is only receiving 5% of the total funds or $7.54B.
- Aid is mostly allocated by population, with $3B reserved for U.S. Territories and Washington D.C. as well as $8B for tribal governments.
- No state will receive less than $1.25B.
- Local governments with populations of more than 500,000 are eligible for more aid which is then subtracted from the State’s funds
- Eligibility for the funding requires that all expenses were incurred during the Coronavirus emergency, they must be accounted for in the local or state budget, and they must all occur between March 1st and December 30th of 2020.
With over $2.5T in total aid, congress set aside $150B to help state and local governments deal with the coronavirus outbreak and economic impact. With separate funds available for businesses and individuals, the $150B will be used by local governments to shore up their shortfall in tax revenues due to lower economic activity.
Top 5 States by Allocation
1. California - $15.32B
2. Texas - $11.24B
3. Florida - $8.33B
4. New York $7.54B
5. Pennsylvania - $4.96B
Prepared by the Tax Foundation, the data highlights how the Coronavirus Aid package (CARES) is being delivered to the state and local governments. States expect massive tax revenue shortfalls along with unplanned expenses to handle the pandemic. As an example, New Jersey’s already scaling back on their $40.9b budget, freezing $920m in planned spending.
While the full impact isn’t known at this time, lawmakers around the country are preparing for the worst. New York is already feeling the squeeze as their hospitals reel from capacity shortages. Governor Cuomo stated that initial estimates were $15b in revenue shortfall, far in exceeding the current allocation. However, the effectiveness of the remaining money for businesses and individuals remains outside the scope of what can be estimated at the moment.
Each day that passes brings new information to the table. Politicians weigh the consequences of shutting down the economy with an overloaded healthcare system. We won’t truly know the impact to businesses, governments, and individuals for several weeks. But have they allocated funds appropriately? Is the money going where it’s needed or is this too much of a one-size-fits-all approach?
Want to take action right now against the coronavirus? Donate to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Fund.