Eight million Americans live in poverty because of Covid-19

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The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by eight million since May, with the rise in poverty rates after Washington's aid to people who have lost their jobs or had to close their businesses due to the coronavirus. .

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, a family of four earning up to $ 26,200 a year lives below the poverty line.

Researchers at Columbia University estimate the total number of people in the United States living in poverty at 55 million. They include the 8 million people affected by poverty since May, according to a Columbia University study, the rise in poverty rates came after government aid stopped for people who lost their jobs or had to close businesses due to the coronavirus.

"The summer employment growth was not enough to offset the declining support," explained one of the study authors Dr. Zach Parolin of Columbia University in New York, quoted by NBC.

"The monthly poverty rate increased from 15 to 16.7 percent. (...) It was especially painful for black people and Latin Americans, as well as for children "- the New York researchers assessed.

Their results are confirmed by a recent study by the University of Chicago in Illinois and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. It showed that in the last three months alone, 6 million Americans have fallen into poverty.

According to the researchers at the university, the federal law granting people a one-time stimulus support of $ 1,200 and an additional $ 600 a week for unemployed workers helped curb rising poverty rates in the spring. Its effects, however, were short-lived. The cessation of aid at the end of the summer increased poverty, especially among minorities and children.

"The Cares Act (Welfare Act), despite its shortcomings, has been very successful in preventing poverty from rising significantly," Parolin noted.

In his opinion, federal incentives saved around 18 million in April. Americans from poverty. Since September, the situation has worsened enormously.

Negotiations in the U.S. Congress on a new coronavirus stimulus package have stalled. It is not known when the impasse will be broken.

"At present in times of crisis, it is important that policymakers react as quickly as possible to respond to the needs of those most affected by the pandemic," warn researchers from Illinois and Indiana.

From New York, Andrzej Dobrowolski (PAP)