Congress approved the first round of stimulus checks in March last year following the surge in coronavirus cases. Now, more than a year later, the cases are surging again due to the COVID-19 delta variant, but this time, Congress may not approve any new coronavirus stimulus checks.
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COVID Delta Cases On The Rise
The number of cases in the U.S. is on the rise again, with five states touching a new high with their seven-day average number of daily cases. Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon and Mississippi hit a new high with their seven-day average of new cases per day as of Sunday, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.
Individually, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida are reporting the most number of cases. For instance, Louisiana reported an average 126 cases per 100,000 residents, while Mississippi and Florida reported 110 and 101 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively.
Moreover, the national seven-day average was at 130,710 as of Sunday, a jump of 20% from the previous seven-day average, as per the data from Johns Hopkins University. Also, the seven-day average of deaths due to coronavirus was 687, an increase of 36% from the previous average.
The data also reveals that nationwide less than 11% of the hospital beds are being used by coronavirus patients. The number of beds occupied correlates closely to the states’ vaccination rates. This means that states with higher vaccination rates have fewer coronavirus patients occupying hospital beds.
Oregon has vaccinated 56.8% of its residents, and its hospitalization rate is 11.4%. Louisiana, with a vaccination rate of 38.3%, has about 20.4% of all hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients, according to HHS data.
The last time coronavirus cases were rising so quickly was in February this year. About a month later, Congress approved the third stimulus checks as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.
Even though economic indicators are improving, millions of people are still out of work. Moreover, things could get worse if coronavirus cases continue to rise at the same pace.
However, despite the surge in the number of cases, there aren’t any official talks of another round of stimulus checks. The only talk of stimulus checks is related to a change.org petition that is asking Congress to send regular stimulus checks as long as the pandemic lasts.
This petition, which is demanding $2,000 recurring checks, has already got over 2.8 million signatures. It is aiming for 3 million signatures. Despite people wanting more stimulus checks and the surge in cases, another stimulus check is very unlikely.
Along with improving economic indicators, what makes another stimulus checks unlikely is the other stimulus payments that Congress is sending already, such as the child tax credit (CTC) and infrastructure bills that Biden is currently focusing on.