Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., suggested Thursday that the U.S. “pay people to stay home” to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“To get the virus under control, we need to pay people to stay home,” she wrote.
Ocasio-Cortez’s office could not be reached to elaborate on what the congresswoman meant, be it the stalled Covid relief package or some other set of direct payments.
Fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., had another suggestion: “We need to send every American a check until this crisis is over.”
On Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez knocked Republicans for failing to reach a consensus with Democrats on coronavirus relief.
“30 million people in this country are at risk of eviction. Millions of people are unemployed or underemployed from cut-back hours,” she wrote on Twitter, adding to a tweeted quote from White House economic adviser Stephen Moore. “The economy is not the stock market. We are NOT doing fine. People need help in red states and blue, & our job is to help everyone. This is basic.”
"I don't see Republicans budging on the blue state bailout, and the economy is doing fine -- much better than anyone expected,” Moore had said.
In response to news that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was meeting with Senate GOP to discuss year-end planning, Ocasio-Cortez asked: “Does that year end plan include stimulus checks and UI extension? Or did Meadows & McConnell forget the part where millions of people desperately need help right now?”
While there is broad support among members of both parties to pass another coronavirus relief bill, they disagree sharply over the size and scope of it. With just 11 legislative days left in their calendar, it's unclear whether lawmakers will be able to strike a deal before the year ends.
As coronavirus cases spike across the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Thursday against travel for Thanksgiving. The CDC said the safest way to mark the holiday is to “to celebrate at home with the people you live with,” noting the over 1 million new cases in the U.S. last week.
States and cities are implementing new lockdowns. New York City shut down the largest school system in the country on Thursday and both New York State and Los Angeles County are implementing a 10 p.m. curfew for nonessential businesses. Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio and Maryland have also implemented curfews on businesses.
Last week, Chicago issued a stay-at-home advisory, urging residents only to leave their homes for essentials. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he is considering signing a new stay-at-home order as the state sees increasing cases.