SSN Memo

The Social Safety Net Was Broken Before the Pandemic

Policy field

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College of William and Mary

Below is an excerpt from a memo written by Christopher Howard in June 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed our social safety net. Tens of millions of Americans are struggling to put food on the table, pay their rent/mortgage, and keep their health insurance. It’s probably not fair to judge something by how well it holds up in the face of catastrophe. Even well-built homes get destroyed by tornadoes. But our safety net was already riddled with holes. As we move forward, our goal should not be restoring the old safety net. We should find ways to reinforce or overhaul it.