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The President is putting his Supreme Court pick ahead of COVID-19 relief. Photo: Getty Images
The President is putting his Supreme Court pick ahead of COVID-19 relief. Photo: Getty Images

AOC: “30-40 million people are at risk of eviction” because of Trump

"We're already starting to see warning signs of the severe economic and health fallout that is to come,” the New York Rep said.

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Only days into his COVID-19 treatment, President Trump announced on Twitter that he would stop talks on passing a new Stimulus Bill, “until after the election.”

The announcement garnered major fallout, to say the least.

It reached the attention of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well, who has been calling for rent protections through the end of 2020 as COVID-19 continues to devastate disenfranchised communities. 

A COVID-19 relief package, or in the very least, a new stimulus check, would directly address the housing issues at hand, and boost a struggling economy. 

With cases on the rise across the country, overlapping with Flu Season, Trump’s decision to end stimulus negotiations set in motion a short-lived stock drop. The Dow dropped just under 400 points on Tuesday, following the president’s decision. 

And so, as he’s often done, Trump backtracked.

He again took to Twitter to call on Congress to send him a “Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks,” a sudden reversal in his course of just hours before.

Failure to pass a bill would have dire consequences, especially for an economy that has not fully recovered from an ongoing pandemic. Around 10 million Americans remain unemployed. 

But in his tweets, it’s apparent the President isn’t thinking about this. Instead, it appears as if the GOP is putting all its efforts towards installing Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

This intensifying economic uncertainty in regards to housing and jobs has only intensified through his administration’s inability to produce or agree-upon a stimulus bill that would adequately respond to the hardships millions are now facing. 

Tuesday evening on MSNBC, AOC focused on housing inequity amid COVID-19 and made it clear that all roads in this regard lead to our current president and his enablers.

“We’re already starting to see warning signs of the severe economic, and health fallout that is to come. We are on the brink of an eviction crisis. A mass eviction crisis here in our district, but also across the country,” AOC began.

All across the country, cities and municipalities have had to navigate their individual housing crises spurred by the COVID-19 outbreak. AOC argued that mass evictions and hunger could be prevented if a new spending bill were passed.
 

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 30 to 40 million people are at risk of eviction by the end of 2020. 

“The president has decided to walk away from every working person in this country. Now that’s before we even get into mortgages, it’s before we get to unemployment extension. It’s before we get to a second stimulus check,” AOC said.

She added, that as we are entering the Fall season, the nation is at a heightened risk of a second spike of coronavirus. Nine ZIP codes in New York City, which she highlighted as having some of the strictest guidelines, are at risk of shutting down totally or partially. 

By stalling COVID-19 relief even further, the president and the GOP are actively endangering the lives of millions. And now, even after these policymakers themselves contracted the virus through their own recklessness and were able to receive the very best healthcare, thoughts of the disenfranchised are again missing from the table.

How are the millions facing potential record evictions, exacerbated by COVID-19, faring? And what is being done in cities throughout the nation to lessen the blow on the most vulnerable, being BIPOC communities?

In Philadelphia, the situation hasn’t been as bad as AOC’s warning envisions, but that’s only because of an act that passed in mid-June.

Out of work, thousands of Philadelphians experiencing employment insecurity fell behind on rent and utility payments as the mandated city-wide shutdown spanned months.

In response to what some councilmembers called a pending “avalanche of evictions” on the horizon because of the pandemic, The Emergency Housing Protection Act passed Philadelphia City Council unanimously.

The five bills included an eviction moratorium until Aug. 31, the creation of an eviction diversion program, waived late fees, allowed renters with financial hardship to pay rent over an extended period of time, and allowed those that were victims of illegal lockouts to recover damages.

In addition to the act, Philadelphia benefited from an eviction moratorium that lasted until September. Further legislation from City Council could extend it until the end of the year. It is also debating extending some of EHPA’s provisions.

However, it’s important to note that this moratorium, like many enacted all over the country, merely inhibits landowners from evicting renters. They can still charge rent. 

In other words, the eviction moratorium is not enough.

While it could be a solution for more cities, what is really needed is a sort of rental abolishment. 

What the economic and housing collapse means for the president and his down-ballot Republicans, is that without delivering this meager, though necessary aid to the nation in the form of stimulus checks, he is going into his bid for re-election at a disadvantage, no matter the party in question.

Sure, Trump backtracked, but it’s all talk. 

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