This country was in a state of emergency even before Covid. Yet ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it has become even more challenging for American citizens to make ends meet and to put food on their tables. What isn't helping is that Covid funding hasn't been approved since 2021. At the end of 2022, Biden and Congress failed to include Covid funding in the 2023 budget. Also, zero dollars were appropriated for Covid in the fiscal year 2024 budget, which was released March 9th.

Millions are at risk of losing Medicaid now that the government has ended the public health emergency. Despite the current health emergency, our government has apparently decided that the emergency is over. The public health emergency was ended in April 2023. What this means is up to 18 million Americans (including millions of children) could be tossed off Medicaid. What this also means is that the government will stop paying for vaccines, at-home test kits, and some treatments (KHN).

What is particularly inexcusable is that the White House made plans to disband their Covid-19 team. Deborah Birx, who served as the nation’s first coronavirus coordinator, suggested that too few anti-pandemic mechanisms have been put in place to justify winding down the team. She said the administration has missed opportunities to improve the monitoring of virus data, invest in the development of more durable vaccines and take other steps that Biden vowed to accomplish in his sweeping covid plan. She lamented the fact that new versions of the virus are allowing it to evade some treatments. And because of that, she states that America's are actually more vulnerable now than they were a year ago. (Washington Post, 3-22-23).

There's also the fact that federal health officials confirmed life expectancy in America has dropped for a nearly unprecedented second year in a row – down to 76 years. While countries all over the world saw life expectancy rebound during the second year of the pandemic after the arrival of vaccines, the U.S. did not. Across the lifespan, and across every demographic group, Americans die at younger ages than their counterparts in other wealthy nations. This represents a drastic change from the 1980s when the U.S. had a life expectancy similar to other wealthy nations.

And maternal mortality in the U.S. reached a high in 2021. Also, a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association found rising mortality rates among U.S. children and adolescents.

And as of March 1st, 2023, the food stamp benefits added during Covid were taken away from 32 states. Recipient households had their monthly grocery allocations reduced by at least $95. (NBC News)

On top of that, inflation is making basic household goods harder and harder for working class families to afford. By the end of 2022, food prices were 10% higher than they were at the end of 2021 (USDA). Now 61% of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck (CNBC, 7-31-23).

The Covid emergency has exacerbated the food crisis in this country.

From June 1 to June 13, 2022, almost 24 million households—including 11.6 million households with children under the age of 18—reported that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat during the week. More than 7 million households were food insecure despite receiving federal food and nutrition benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and almost 4 million of these households included children. Notably, low-income households of color, often led by single mothers, tend to have higher rates of hunger and food insecurity. (The Center for American Progress, 8-11-22).

According to the USDA, 10.2 percent (13.5 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2021. This number was about the same in 2020.

According to an NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll, 38 percent of U.S. households reported facing serious financial problems during the outbreak of the Delta Variant (August 2 to September 7, 2021). These financial problems occurred despite 67 percent of U.S. households receiving financial assistance from the government. In addition to this, 19 percent of U.S. households reported losing their entire savings during the pandemic, leaving them with nothing to fall back on.

With these financial issues, there have been serious health consequences.

"In healthcare, 18 percent of households report anyone in their household has been unable to get medical care for a serious problem in the past few months when they needed it, with 76 percent of those unable to get care reporting negative health consequences as a result." (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Not only are people experiencing health complications, but children are also falling behind in school. 69 Percent of households with children in grades K-12 fell behind in learning during the pandemic, with 70 percent of these households feeling it will be very difficult for their children to catch up from education losses of the past year.

The devastation from the pandemic has left Americans struggling to feed themselves and their children, pay rent, afford household expenses, and find jobs. Millions of people are struggling to survive right now and the government’s provided assistance is not nearly sufficient enough to make a dent in the ongoing crisis. Action needs to be taken immediately, or many more will die from the aftermath of COVID-19—not the virus itself.

In the aftermath of Covid, businesses were also eviscerated across America, in particular small businesses. The Economic Impacts of Covid-19 has been reported by Opportunity Insights. Small businesses in affluent zip codes lost more than 50% of their revenue, and in low income zip codes, they lost 30% of their revenue.

Covid-19 has also had a disproportionate impact on black owned businesses. Between February and April of 2020, Black business ownership declined more than 40%, the largest drop across any ethnic group, according to a report by the House Committee on Small Business Committee. (Forbes)

In addition to that, 22% of gyms have closed (Club Industry), and more than 10% of restaurants have closed permanently (Nation's Restaurant News).

Alcohol related deaths also surged due to the pandemic. U.S. consumption of alcohol, which had already been increasing for years, accelerated during the pandemic as Americans grappled with stress and isolation. The number of deaths caused by alcohol skyrocketed nationwide, rising more than 45 percent. In 2021, alcohol was the primary cause of death for more than 54,000 Americans, causing nearly 17,000 more deaths than just a few years before, in 2018. (The Washington Post, 7-13-2023)


Life expectancy continues to decline in the U.S. as it rebounds in other countries (NPR, 3-25-23)

How does U.S. life expectancy compare to other countries? (Health System Tracker, 12-6-22)

61% of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck even as inflation cools (CNBC, 7-31-23)

Alcohol consumption surged during the pandemic — and deaths followed (The Washington Post, 7-13-23)

The US Spends Almost as Much on Healthcare as the Rest of the World Combined and Has One of the Worst Outcomes (Scheer Post, 11-25-22) Read the Book Here on Amazon    Stephen Bezruchka's Website

Opinion | United States of Death? Study Shows Worrying Mortality Rates of Broken Health System (Common Dreams, 8-15-22)

Billionaires 'Had a Terrific Pandemic' While Inequality Killed Millions: Oxford (Common Dreams, 1-17-22)

Datassential: More than 10% of U.S. restaurants have closed permanently (Nation's Restaurant News, 3-29-21)

22 Percent of Gyms Have Closed, $29.2 Billion Revenue Lost Since COVID-19 Hit (Club Industry, 8-10-21)

Committee Report Outlines COVID’s Devastating Impact on Black-Owned Small Businesses (House Committee on Small Business)

Covid-19 Has Had A Disproportionate Financial Impact On Black Small Businesses (Forbes, 6-3-21)

As the Delta Variant Continues, 38 Percent of U.S. Households Report Facing Serious Financial Problems Despite Two-Thirds Receiving Government Assistance (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 10-12-21)

Tracking the COVID-19 Economy’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10-13-21)


Key Social Programs Ending for Americans in Autumn 2023

America's State of Emergency - An Agenda For Action

Dead or Alive in Modern America - The Right to Exist

Life and Death in America (Audio)

Time for Action on the Student Debt Crisis

Rent Crisis