2020 is not a normal year

This piece was originally published in the December 10, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

“The whole country, it seems, is one giant GoFundMe page of basic survival.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

Yet another tragic milestone surpassed. Trump’s chaos has a deadly price.

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  • We learned this morning that an additional 853,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week. This is yet another grim sign that confirms what we already knew: Americans are suffering, and it’s not getting better. What’s worse? When accounting for both state and federal pandemic unemployment claims, first-time claims last week rose to a total of 1.4 million — the highest they’ve been since mid-September.
  • The United States broke another devastating record yesterday, reporting the highest single-day COVID-19 death count yet. This also marked the first time the U.S. has seen more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day (3,054, to be exact).
  • It’s hard to process the real-world implications of all these numbers when we’ve spent months being inundated with statistics, data, and “record highs.” That being said, we have some numbers for you (but we promise, they’re important).
  • Washington, D.C. hit a scary milestone today: One out of every 1,000 of the city’s residents has died from coronavirus. That’s horrifying in and of itself…until you realize the District isn’t alone in this. Eleven states in all corners of the country have already reached or passed this point: New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Mississippi, South Dakota, Illinois, and Michigan.
  • If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been reminded to wear a mask more than enough times to understand the proper safety precautions during the pandemic. But again: It’s getting really, really bad. Worse than it was when we were all timidly hiding inside our homes in April.
  • It’s obvious this is not a normal year. So cancel your holiday plans. Call your loved ones and make sure they have what they need to stay safe. Only go out in public when it’s absolutely necessary. Make sure your friends know the truth about COVID-19. Elected officials and organizations like us can encourage mask wearing and social distancing as much as we want, but in the end, the most effective person to persuade your friends and family to take this seriously is you.

We don’t have an update on stimulus talks for you today (thanks, McConnell). What we do have is a way for you to make your voice heard in just a few clicks. Make sure your senators are fighting for a bill that will get real, meaningful aid to people ASAP.


  • Shoplifting is on the rise amid the ongoing economic devastation. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have been left jobless and without the means to afford basic goods. Now, according to the Washington Post, retailers and security personnel across the country say they’ve noticed a spike in shoplifting. And it’s not just shoplifting of random items: Experts say staples like bread, baby formula, and pasta — in other words, the items that people need to survive — have been the most commonly shoplifted in recent months.
  • Now for another update on America’s billionaires. Forbes is reporting that the three richest men in America are about to pay $0 in state income taxes. With Elon Musk’s announcement that he plans to purchase property in Texas and make that his primary residence, he joins Washington state residents Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in the elite ranks of American billionaires who just happen to live in states that don’t charge them a cent of income tax. The men combined are worth roughly $442 billion. But I’m sure Texans and Washington residents don’t need any more funding for public services right now anyway, right?


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