Donald Trump allows pandemic relief to expire, than signs bill to extend it

The House and the Senate worked out a deal to extend pandemic relief and sent it to Trump to sign. Trump refused to sign it. He claimed that the $600 stimulus payment wasn’t adequate. He wanted it to be $2,000. Sure he did.

From the Associated Press:

Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet lapsed overnight as President Donald Trump refused to sign an end-of-year COVID relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his sudden objections.

Because Trump refused to sign the bill into law, the original Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the CARES Act expired. People who cannot work because of the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the country, people like me, were receiving weekly payments. I was receiving $148 after taxes were taken out. It represented only a fraction of what I was making driving for Uber and Lyft, but it was better than nothing.

Now that the program was allowed to expire, I don’t know where that leaves me. I don’t know if I have to reapply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to continue receiving weekly payments. I know having to go through the Maryland Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance BEACON system is a headache. The system had many needless hoops that had to be gone through. The pre-pandemic system was designed to make it difficult to claim benefits. The software had to be changed just to get it to work with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Something tells me the software will need to be changed again, considering Trump allowed the old system to expire.

The pandemic is worse now than it has ever been

I haven’t driven rideshare since March 13. Rideshare driving and the COIVID-19 pandemic do not mix. It’s impossible to stay at least six feet away from someone when they’re sitting in your backseat, breathing the same air as you.

COVID-19 is out of control where I live. Today’s positivity rate for Washington County is 16.74%. The state of Maryland is currently at 7.48%. We have the highest positivity rate in the state.

Coincidently, people here in Washington County don’t believe in wearing masks, especially correctly. People leave their noses hanging out. Stores and businesses here in Washington County do not require people to wear masks. They display signs saying they do, but they choose not to enforce what it says on the sign. Stores and businesses open to the public are required to display the signs. Evidently, they are not required to enforce what the signs say.

This pandemic has opened my eyes to many things. I never knew how terrible my county was until COVID-19 hit our shores. Our government, top to bottom, has so little regard for the citizens they serve. It’s a lesson I will never forget.

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