Health experts who worked under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations authored a letter to Congress recommending that the US should invest $46.5 billion into specific efforts to help return the country back to normal in a safe way.
They commended Congress for providing support for programs like the PPP and funds for increased testing but remarked that additional efforts need to be in place an order for our economies to open back up safely.
The $46.5 billion proposed plan contains three major areas, including one that would pay individuals to self quarantine.
$50 Daily pay for self-quarantine
One of the most notable suggestions is that $30 billion would go to support people who will lose income while they are self isolating for two weeks.
Experts estimate that about 40% of people who come in contact with an infected person would need some level of supplemental support for their income in order to properly self isolate.
They have recommended $50 a person each day which is the same amount of pay for someone serving on a federal jury.
$12 billion to expand contact-tracing
Contact tracing is one of the most important steps in curbing the transmission of a virus and these health experts stated that the number of contact tracing workers needs to expand 180,000 until a vaccine is ready.
This may be one of the most important aspects of keeping a second wave from emerging.
If the country can implement widespread testing along with good contact tracing then I like our odds of avoiding a second major surge of the outbreak.
In this situation, it sounds like they would be hiring laypeople and training them so it could also provide some employment possibilities for a lot of people.
Transform vacant hotels
$4.5 billion would be used to transform vacant hotels in to self isolation facilities for those individuals who are not able to self isolate in their homes. (This will work out to be about 14% of people who are in need of self isolation.)
The experts suggest that these facilities be used for 18 months in order to contain COVID-19 and “provide a much-needed stimulus for the hospitality industry.”
I think this is a pretty brilliant idea since so many hotels are virtually vacant right now.
There is reportedly substantial evidence that providing a voluntary place for people to self isolate can help reduce the spread of the disease to family members, so this would be particularly beneficial for those that live with at risk individuals.
I’m all for this.
I think $50 a day is a decent incentive to stay self isolating for some people and could help people out who would be missing work.
The big question I have here is how will they determine that someone is eligible?
It seems like many people could simply falsify that they have come into contact with someone with the virus, but I guess if you have to prove lost wages that could help deter that.
Also how do you enforce the quarantine so that you were not wasting money paying people who will inevitably still go out in public?
As far as funding goes, they want Congress to offer the funding in the next relief package and grant it to states and two times a year.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.