The disruptions caused by the coronavirus are wreaking havoc on individuals, families, the private and public sectors, the health care system, and the economy and society as a whole. In order to "flatten the curve" and prevent a major spike in infections, drastic measures have been taken. The inevitable result has been and likely will continue to be a strong shock to the economy.
New rules restricting access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are going to cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose benefits. Even beyond the obvious physical and mental costs of food insecurity and the incalculable toll on the stability and dignity of families around the country, there is also a significant economic cost. Our analysis found that it will lead to losses of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs.
Mass shootings are tragedies with immeasurable human costs to victims and their families. As most of you are aware, my adopted hometown of Odessa was recently the site of such a tragedy. The nature of the shooting, being both random and widespread, leads to most of us knowing victims or otherwise having personal connections to the event. Lives were lost, injuries were suffered, families were permanently altered, and the character of a rugged community accustomed to resilience in one area is facing a test of a different and far more difficult kind. The focus is and always should be on the families and the victims.