L.A. Council Proposes Paying Poor People To Stay Home If They Contract COVID-19. What Could Go Wrong?


[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”A” font=”Ultra” background_color_class=”otw-no-background” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap] motion was introduced in Los Angeles by Councilmember David Ryu that would pay anyone living in Los Angeles who tested positive for COVID-19 to stay home. The councilman cited data “showing communities of color, low-income communities and immigrants are more likely to become infected with COVID-19 and suffer from a higher mortality rate” reported L.A.’s local CBS station.

Regardless of how COVID affects different racial groups and income levels, all individuals would have to do to be eligible is “agree to self-isolate and provide public health information to Los Angeles County contact tracers, Ryu said.” “The only way out of this crisis is through increased testing and staying home if you’re sick. If we want to bend the curve, we need to make it possible for everyone to stay home when they’re sick- no matter their income or immigration status.”

Council President Nury Martinez also introduced a plan to provide “up to $50 million in direct paycheck assistance to help low-income families with rent, food and other expenses.” Martinez’s “Right to Recover” motion is modeled after a program in San Francisco’s Mission District which pays poor Latinos to stay home if they get infected with COVID-19.

“While Latinos are dying at twice the rate of White Angelenos in L.A. County from COVID-18, many of the safeguards meant to assist, including Federal Relief, are not reaching poor, immigrant Latinos and others, who often work as essential workers or simply do not have medical insurance or Paid Leave and cannot afford to stay home,” said Martinez.

Martinez would like to use $50 million from the Federal CARES Act for her proposal. Just one problem; the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed by Trump in March excludes undocumented immigrants from receiving aid. Ryu and Martinez’s motivation behind their motions are almost entirely to fund undocumented workers.