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Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers

Published Jul 13th, 2020 1:13PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: Eric Gay/AP Images

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  • New stimulus checks are all but certain to come as soon as next month, based on a handful of key data points we’ve been keeping an eye on as the coronavirus pandemic continues to linger.
  • Those numbers are President Trump’s latest polling, unemployment figures, and the latest coronavirus case statistics.
  • In this post, we’ll take a closer look at why that data continues to suggest that new stimulus checks are likely on the way soon.

Unemployment statistics. President Trump’s latest poll numbers. And the latest number of cases as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen. These three data points have something very important in common — for everyone eagerly awaiting official word about the next round of stimulus checks, including if and when those payments will actually come, these are the numbers you should pay very close attention to.

Even though, as we’ve already noted, it’s looking pretty likely that some form of new stimulus looks like it’s on the way as soon as August, Congress could still decide not to act at all — or to pass some form of stimulus that’s not what everyone is expecting or hoping for. In recent interviews like this one, though, President Trump has put it about as plainly as he can: Yes, new stimulus checks are coming soon. Regardless, let’s take a closer look at the numbers above to see if we can’t bring even more certainty to this issue.

Let’s take the third number we mentioned above first. If the coronavirus pandemic remains particularly acute in the US for a while longer, there’s a good chance that all but guarantees a setting of the table for new stimulus checks for Congress — since waves of cases continuing across the US has all kinds of ripple effects that spill over into the economy. And it certainly seems like there’s no danger of this pattern being broken anytime soon, with the latest numbers out of Johns Hopkins University showing more than 3.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases having now been reported in the US along with more than 135,000 reported deaths.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an ominous warning along these same lines, forecasting that both the numbers of cases and deaths are expected to continue to swell in the coming weeks.

Along these same lines, what about the unemployment numbers? Same thing, essentially. If cases remain high, which spills over into the broader economy and hurts businesses enough that unemployment remains painfully above its normal level, that’s yet another excuse for Congress to accelerate plans for more stimulus checks. And there’s no question things will continue to bad for at least a little while longer. Take just one employer, United Airlines. It’s already hinted that as many as 36,000 workers could be furloughed in the coming weeks, as air travel demand remains subpar — and all you have to do is start multiplying that pain across multiple companies to feel the same sense of urgency that congressional leaders are surely likewise seeing.

Finally, as if this whole thing wasn’t complicated enough, let’s also not forget — 2020 is an election year. This is why we also noted above that President Trump’s poll numbers are important to watch, as well. Check out our previous report here sizing up some of the other presidential election-related surprises we might be in store for as a result of 2020 being such an insane and extraordinary year. The president can’t be unaware that being seen as pushing through more stimulus checks will buy him goodwill among at least some of the voters he’ll need this fall.

Bottom line: At this point, based on all of the above, it continues to look like a new round of stimulus checks is all but certain at this point.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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