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The US Economy Needs a Booster Shot

Heading into the holiday season, the United States is confronting a spike in COVID-19 infections and renewed restrictions on commerce. Unless Congress acts immediately to extend and expand support for workers, households, small businesses, and state and local governments, the hard-won gains from the previous stimulus could be lost.

BERKELEY – November brought welcome news from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, each of which is reporting high levels of effectiveness for its COVID-19 vaccine. Hopes that vaccine distribution will begin by early December have pushed stock-market indexes to near-record levels. But the stock market does not necessarily reflect the Main Street economy. Without additional fiscal stimulus, the partial, uneven, faltering economic recovery now underway is in serious danger. With the long-feared winter wave of COVID-19 now upon us, and with unemployment rising, we are witnessing what has aptly been described as “the most unequal recession in modern US history.”