Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve and noted economist was approved by the Senate on an 84-15 vote. She sailed through a congressional hearing last week and had already been unanimously approved by the Senate finance committee and backed by all living former treasury secretaries.
Going forward, she is placed with a huge responsibility. Just last week, another 900,000 people filed for unemployment benefits. This amount is more than the population of San Francisco and four times the number of weekly claims made before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Amid the surge in infections, a lot of businesses are closing across the US. The US reported more than 188,000 new cases for Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and close to 4,000 people are dying each day.
Yellen emphasized at her hearing on the importance of the government “act big” on the next coronavirus relief package and argued now is not the time to worry about the costs of a higher debt burden.
She declared that her major priority would be to tackle the fallout of Covid-19, most especially its disproportionately hard impact on communities of colour. Black and Latino workers are still experiencing far higher rates of unemployment, at 9.9% and 9.3%, compared with their white counterparts, 6%.
She said: “We need to make sure that people aren’t going hungry in America, that they can put food on the table, that they’re not losing their homes and ending up out on the street because of evictions,”
“We really need to address those forms of suffering, and I think we shouldn’t compromise on it.”