December 23, 2020
CEPR sprang into action this year to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning with proposals for a government stimulus and safeguards to ensure that working people are supported, and continuing with pressure to stop the US Treasury from blocking a global COVID response.
As we head into 2021 and the beginning of a new presidential administration, we need your support so that we can make as much impact as possible in advancing progressive economic and foreign policy ideas in Washington. We’re going to need to keep a close eye on the Biden cabinet, while taking advantage of this historic opportunity to make important, lasting change for the better and ensure the administration actually takes bold action to address the recession, systemic racism, the climate crisis, end our many wars (economic and military), and so much more.
Below, we recap what we accomplished in 2020, and why we need your support heading into 2021…
This year, CEPR’s International Program:
- Worked hard to ensure that, as the US wrestles with COVID, the rest of the world is not forgotten, pushing for trillions in SDRs to be allocated by the IMF. This became part of legislation that passed the House twice, that was introduced in the Senate, and will continue to be a priority for us in 2021.
- Played an instrumental role in holding the Organization of American States accountable for its part in paving the way for the military coup d’etat in Bolivia in 2019, through four different reports comprising hundreds of pages of analysis, and multiple op-eds, events, and press releases.
- Warned of changes that Big Tech companies seek to have enshrined at the World Trade Organization that would rig the rules of the global (digital) economy to enable them to collect more data, exercise more control over our lives and over their workers, and amass ever more profit.
- Launched a regularly updated COVID 19-tracker to monitor the spread of the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, and began raising the alarm early as the disease spiraled out of control in Ecuador.
- Tracked US Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation flights of people exposed to, and in some cases infected with, COVID-19, and presented to Congress on such deportations to Haiti.
- Continued to be a prominent and influential critic of harmful IMF austerity policies in countries such as Argentina and Ecuador, where situations became more dire as the pandemic hit.
- Led calls for the US government to immediately lift economic sanctions against Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries to avoid unnecessary deaths and spread of the pandemic.
- Examined the failures of the international community in responding to recent massacres and violent attacks in Haiti. In May, CEPR broke the news that the US was planning to deport convicted former death squad leader, “Toto” Constant, back to Haiti.
CEPR’s Domestic Program Impact
- CEPR came out fighting with concrete solutions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. A number of CEPR’s solutions were included in the federal coronavirus relief bills that passed in March.
- When the most recent COVID relief package passed Congress this week, some of CEPR’s long struggles for economic justice inched forward (like ending surprise medical billing), while other struggles stepped backward (like the continued inequities in the disbursement of one-time relief payments to individuals).
- CEPR’s research and analysis quantified and confirmed that Black and Brown people are overrepresented among workers in frontline industries. Almost one-half of meatpacking workers are Hispanic, and one-quarter are Black. CEPR’s early and groundbreaking analysis identified the demographics of frontline workers who continue to struggle against hunger, homelessness, and illness in the pandemic, and was used to help shape progressive state-level COVID response policies in 11 states and two municipal areas.
- Long before the pandemic, CEPR advanced guaranteed paid family and medical leave and child care, which the CARES Act temporarily granted with many limitations. As CEPR has shown, the US is the only rich country that fails to guarantee sick workers some form of paid sick leave, and is a laggard on family benefits.
- CEPR strongly championed federal relief to state and local governments. Workers who lose their jobs as a result of layoffs in the public sector are 20 percent more likely to be Black than workers who lose their jobs in the private sector.
- A key issue for CEPR in the pandemic recession is getting relief and stimulus to the right places and in sufficient amounts. CEPR was critical of the inadequate and misguided federal relief response, and documented the resulting increases in poverty and housing insecurity. As CEPR found, the true depth of these hardships are masked by outdated or biased measurements.
- The pandemic amplified the preexisting weaknesses in our for-profit health care system. CEPR exposed how private equity firms have pushed profits over health care, fleeced sick patients with surprise medical bills, and drained pandemic relief funds for profit. To rebuild the health care system CEPR supports universal, affordable health coverage. That means slashing drug costs and challenging the whole system of intellectual property rights. The global race for a coronavirus vaccine, and who can pay for it, has illustrated how intellectual property rights and patent protections inflict destructive inequality in the US and the world.
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CEPR’s groundbreaking Revolving Door Project scrutinizes executive branch appointees to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest, rather than to entrench corporate power or seek personal advancement. Visit the Presidential Power Map and Agency Spotlight, sign up for the newsletter and follow @revolvingdoorDC on Twitter.
Politico, citing CEPR, Progressives Line Up Their Own National Security Recruits for Biden
Marketplace Radio, quoting Dean Baker, Rethinking the US-China Relationship Under the Biden Administration
The Hill, quoting Alex Main, Progressives Push for Key National Security Positions Under Biden
CBS News, quoting Jeff Hauser, Biden Faces Pressure Over Potential Cabinet Picks from Critics on the Left
In These Times, quoting Dean Baker, Pfizer Helped Create the Global Patent Rules. Now it’s Using Them to Undercut Access to the Covid Vaccine.
What’s in Haiti’s New National Security Decrees: An Intelligence Agency and an Expanded Definition of Terrorism
By Jake Johnston and Kira Paulemon
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