FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON--The ACLU of the District of Columbia decries the COVID-19 package just signed into law by President Trump. The package forces the District to share $3 billion with five U.S. territories. D.C. will receive approximately $500 million, while all the states are set to receive at least $1.25 billion each.
“Congress is playing politics with D.C. residents’ lives,” says Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia. “More than 700,000 people call D.C. their home. We need test kits, hospital supplies, and emergency relief for businesses as much as any other state. We implore Congress to make D.C. whole and allocate D.C. the same amount as the states in any future stimulus packages.”
The District now has 271 known cases of COVID-19, including four deaths: more than in 19 states, and three times the number of confirmed cases in the five territories combined. Local officials expect these numbers to increase significantly, as Washington D.C.’s population density is higher than any state’s, which means District residents—and the thousands who travel in and out of D.C. from Maryland and Virginia for work—are especially vulnerable to infection.
D.C. residents pay the most in federal taxes per capita than residents of every other state. Congress has historically treated Washington, D.C. in the same manner as the states when it comes to federal financial assistance, such as federal grants, funding for highways, money for education, food assistance, and Medicaid reimbursement.