Case Report - April 15, 2021

You're reading Case Report, a digest of our expert network's best research, analysis, and policy recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the percentage of vaccinated Americans continues to grow, recovery from the pandemic is finally in sight. And with the latest $1.9 trillion relief bill now passed and signed into law, communities and organizations saw desperately needed help arrive. But of course a pandemic that has disrupted our daily lives for over a year has many, long-lasting effects that will remain a challenge. In this Case Report, SSN members outline some of the supports our policymakers have provided thus far and what more is needed as we look towards the future.

Pandemic relief has worked fairly well but missed some people, Minneapolis Fed researchers say
In the last year, lawmakers in Congress have passed over $5 trillion in COVID-19 relief spending. Economists Krista Ruffini and Abigail Wozniak said that these programs, “were all really successful for the most part in getting large amounts of money out the door really quickly,” but that they also likely missed some marginalized populations and could have been phased out better to reduce uncertainty. [Star Tribune]

What Does The Child Tax Credit In The Coronavirus Relief Package Mean For Families?
The increased child tax credit included in the latest COVID-19 relief package has the potential to lift many American families out of poverty, but the measure will need to be extended for results to last, notes sociologist Sarah Halpern-Meekin in a Q&A that dives into the details of the new policy. [WPR]

Federal support has shored up nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic, but many groups are still struggling
With more than 60% of nonprofits receiving emergency funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, these loans have helped save millions of jobs. “U.S. nonprofits still are reeling,” however, and additional aid is needed to keep the sector afloat, argue nonprofit researchers Dyana Mason and Mirae Kim. [The Conversation]

Need Amid Plenty: Richest US Counties Are Overwhelmed by Surge in Child Hunger
As hunger rose across the country, food banks and pantries went from emergency relief to a standard source of food for some families, says family sciences researcher Marlene Schwartz. Looking towards the future, she notes that anti-poverty measures included in the most recent relief bill are a step in the right direction to alleviate this situation, but that it’s too soon to know their real impact. [Kaiser Health News]

Don’t force schools to give standardized tests this pandemic year, research scholars ask Education Secretary Cardona
A public letter spearheaded by education researcher Jack Schneider and three other scholars called on Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to reverse his department’s decision to require federally mandated standardized tests in schools this year given the pandemic. The letter was signed by over 540 education researchers and scholars. [The Washington Post]