Headline RoundupOctober 5th, 2022

What Should We Do About COVID-19 Fraud?

AllSides Summary

A Labor Department investigation found a “historic” $45.6 billion in potentially fraudulent unemployment insurance payments from COVID-19 aid programs, including the 2020 CARES Act, the 2021 American Rescue Plan, and the 2021 federal budget. 

The assessment revises a previous June 2021 estimate of $16 billion in fraudulent claims, out of an estimated $872.5 billion in pandemic-related UI funding. Coverage of the report frequently highlighted 47 individuals charged in a scheme to steal $250 million in aid intended for hungry children in Minneapolis. 

The Justice Department announced a “COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force” a week before the Labor Department report’s release. In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “Since the start of this pandemic, the Justice Department has seized over $1.2 billion in relief funds that criminals were attempting to steal, and charged over 1,500 defendants with crimes in federal districts across the country, but our work is far from over.”

The editorial boards of The Washington Post (Lean Left bias) and The Wall Street Journal (Opinion rated Lean Right) weighed in on what exactly should be done about those who stole federal aid during the pandemic.

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