Saturday night owls: Impact of coronavirus on Census could weaken democracy for a decade

Saturday night owls: Impact of coronavirus on Census could weaken democracy for a decade

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Igor Derysh at Salon writes—The coronavirus is upending the Census — and that could undermine democracy for a decade“The risk of being undercounted disproportionately falls on communities of color,” a letter from Democrats read:

Lawmakers and civil rights groups are warning that the novel coronavirus crisis could devastate minority communities for the next decade if the outbreak upends the 2020 census, which normally takes place in spring.

The Census Bureau announced on Wednesday that it will suspend its field operations for at least two weeks to protect the safety of workers and respondents. But medical experts say measures to control the spread of the virus will likely be required for much longer, leaving groups like the NAACP concerned that minority communities, which are already regularly undercounted, will be devastated even further if field workers are unable to go door-to-door.[…]

Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant on census issues for advocacy groups pushing for an accurate count, told The New York Times that any delay threatens to affect the count.

“The bureau clearly hopes to resume operations as previously planned, but nobody has a crystal ball,” she said. “The more the Census Bureau has to shift and modify operations and deviate from its plans, the harder it will be to have an acceptable outcome.”

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QUOTATION

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
               ~~Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing
                                           and Discussing Everything
), 1891

TWEET OF THE DAY

It�s long past time for @DOJ_EOIR and @TheJusticeDept to close immigration courts and stop putting people�s health at risk. pic.twitter.com/as1HVDSgyr

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 22, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—What do all Scandinavians, Belgians and the Dutch have that 52 million Americans don’t? Health care:

That’s the kind of headline that pisses off Republicans and their enablers. Comparing the good ol’ USA with anything…ewwwwwww…European is barely short of treasonous. Of course, if they had an ounce of real pride in their country and compassion for their fellow Americans, they would be irked not by the headline but by its accuracy. What they have instead is an open spigot of cash from corporadoes keen on keeping a health-care system that costs more but delivers less than health-care systems in Europe and Canada.

During 2010, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey released last Tuesday, 52 million Americans—that’s the total population of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands—had no health insurance in all or part of the year. In 2001, the number was 38 million. That’s a 35 percent increase in a decade when the U.S. population rose only 10 percent. Not only did all the people in those six countries have health coverage, each of their health-care systems were rated better than America’s. Bottom line: They cost less, provide more, cover everybody.

Unsurprisingly, one of the main reasons the number of uninsured soared to this record high is because the deep recession that put millions out of a job took their health coverage along with it. Nearly three of five who lost their jobs also wound up uninsured. […] 

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