Since then, US economy suffered worse quarter on record, unemployment remains persistently high, NC faces significant testing delays, 20% of the state is without health insurance
In May, Senator Tillis predicted that, as Politico described it, “by August everything will look different” and that will benefit his reelection chances. “We’ll be doing million and millions of tests, we’ll do the antibody tests, we’ll have good reports, I think, on the beginnings of economic progress,” Tillis said. “And I think all those things will benefit the president and they’ll benefit me.”
Things certainly look different — just not for the better.
Thanks to the Administration’s failed coronavirus response and Senator Tillis’ inability to hold them accountable or deliver another coronavirus relief package, the economy is in free fall, unemployment remains near record highs, testing delays are creating “ballooning turnaround time,” and more North Carolinians are losing their health insurance. Tillis, meanwhile, is consistently trailing in the polls as Republicans publicly say they are “feeling more pessimistic” about him.
“Despite Senator Tillis’ prediction that everything would be better by August, more North Carolinians are out of work and without health care than before,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis and President Trump’s inability to combat the spread of the virus or provide desperately needed relief is putting North Carolinans’ safety and economic security at risk.”
The US Economy Suffered the Worst Economic Decline on Record in Q2 of 2020, as GDP Contracted 32.9%.
- “The US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate from April through June, its worst drop on record, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday. Business ground to a halt during the pandemic lockdown in the spring of this year, and America plunged into its first recession in 11 years, putting an end to the longest economic expansion in US history and wiping out five years of economic gains in just a few months.” [CNN, 7/31/20]
The Number of North Carolinians Out of Work Remains Near Record High as Workers Pay the Price for the Federal Government’s Failure To Control The Virus and as Tillis Fails to Deliver Additional Benefits Workers Need.
- N.C. nears 1.2 million unemployment insurance claimants as $600 federal weekly benefit expired [Winston-Salem Journal, 7/27/20]
- With weekly $600 gone, NC unemployment benefits alone are not enough, workers say [News & Observer, 7/28/20]
- As federal unemployment aid expires, Charlotte renters face a ‘looming catastrophe’ [News & Observer, 7/29/20]
- “A crucial week on Capitol Hill that began with a rocky Republican rollout of a coronavirus relief package ended with a complete breakdown in negotiations, threatening to deepen the perils of an already embattled President Donald Trump. The Republican-led Senate adjourned Thursday for a long weekend with no action on COVID-19 relief, all but ensuring that a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit would expire Friday.” [NBC News, 7/31/20]
Testing Delays Caused by a National Shortage of Supplies is Forcing “Ballooning Turnaround Times” as Health Care Facilities Test at Just 20% Capacity.
- “If you’ve recently been tested for COVID-19 in North Carolina, it could take your results twice as long to come back as it would have last month. Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, expressed concern this month over “ballooning turnaround times” for commercial testing labs. The average turnaround time was approaching six to seven days, she said—up from two to three days in June.” [Charlotte Observer, 7/20/20]
- “Atrium Health is processing coronavirus tests at just 20% to 25% of its capacity due to a national shortage of the chemicals needed to run the test, the Charlotte-based company’s president told a U.S. Senate panel Tuesday.” [McClatchy, 7/21/20]
More Than a Quarter of a Million North Carolinians Have Lost Their Health Care During the Pandemic As 20% of North Carolinians Now Lack Health Insurance. Many Now “Struggle to Access New Plans” Thanks to Tillis’ Vote to Block Medicaid Expansion.
- “The COVID-19 pandemic took away health insurance from 238,000 North Carolinians this spring, according to a new study. The nationwide analysis, from the consumer health care advocacy group Families USA, found a 24% increase in North Carolina workers who became uninsured from February to May. Overall, the state ranks fifth in the country with 1.2 million uninsured adults.” [USA Today, 7/29/20]
- “[The study] found that nearly half — 46 percent — of the coverage losses from the pandemic came in five states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and North Carolina.” [New York Times, 7/16/20]
- “Among the newly uninsured, some may land in the state’s “coverage gap” and struggle to access new plans. North Carolina remains one of 13 states to eschew Medicaid expansion under the federal ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.” [USA Today, 7/29/20]
- “When Tillis was speaker of the House, Republicans passed a bill in 2013 prohibiting Medicaid expansion without action by the lawmakers. It also stopped the state from running its own health benefit exchange. Tillis has taken credit for being the one to stop Medicaid expansion in the state, both at the time and more recently.” [News & Observer, 6/30/20]
Since May, Senator Tillis Has Consistently Trailed in the Polls as Republicans are “Feeling More Pessimistic” about Tillis.