Warren Calls for $400 Billion Stimulus to Fight Coronavirus Hit to Economy
Health Care

Warren Calls for $400 Billion Stimulus to Fight Coronavirus Hit to Economy

REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Pete Buttigieg is out. So is Amy Klobuchar. Oh, and Tom Steyer. Yet even as the Democratic presidential field is winnowed after Saturday’s South Carolina primary, leaving Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden as the two clear leaders for the nomination, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign reportedly insists she isn’t going anywhere.

Not only that: She’s still putting out detailed policy plans, in keeping with her campaign’s emphasis on her technocratic competence. She’s got a plan for everything — and that includes fighting the coronavirus.

Warren on Monday called for Congress to quickly pass a stimulus package of at least $400 billion to counter potential economic damage or ward off a recession due to the virus outbreak.

Warren said she strongly supports Senate Democrats’ request for $8.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding, but that she believes we must do more. “History shows that it’s often hard to pass multiple stimulus packages in succession—and it’s better that the initial package is too big rather than too small,” she says. 

The stimulus proposal includes:

  • Low-interest or no-interest loans to companies hit by supply chain disruptions or other effects of the coronavirus, with the money to be used to avoid layoffs or reductions in worker hours;
  • Additional unemployment insurance;
  • Aid to state and local governments;
  • Efforts to increase U.S. production of pharmaceutical ingredients;
  • Investments in green infrastructure investments.

Her plan also proposes an emergency paid leave program for those who show symptoms of infection and seeks to ensure that every American can get evaluated or treated for free, with the government requiring insurers to fully cover care and reimbursing health care providers and hospitals for uncompensated services. Warren also says Congress should ensure that any vaccine developed be made available with no out-of-pocket cost to the public and the Federal Reserve should announce an emergency lending program to help companies whose supply chains have been affected.

“Companies across America are already struggling with supply chain disruptions, and we don’t want these temporary struggles to lead to widespread layoffs or for otherwise solid companies to go under,” Warren’s plan says. 

Warren says her stimulus could counteract a decline in U.S. gross domestic product of about 3%.