A petition calling for monthly stimulus checks continues to pick up steam and is still getting signatures, in part, because of what the creator believes is a renewed feeling of uncertainty.
Stephanie Bonin, a Denver restaurant owner, created a petition on Change.org to send out monthly stimulus checks last year. It’s since amassed 2.45 million signatures and appears to be gaining supporters faster than before, potentially shaving a week off the timeline to reach 2.5 million signatures.
“The most common reason [people sign] is that uncertain feeling,” Bonin told Newsweek. “We’re still in uncertain times … And it’s times like this that it feels like people go back into a fear-based life.”
Bonin was referencing the Delta variant of the coronavirus that has been found to be more transmissible than other variants. Months or even weeks after vaccinated Americans were told they could safely take their masks off, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised even those who have been inoculated to continue wearing face coverings.
Dr. Mariangela Simao, the WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, said people can’t feel “safe just because they had the two doses.” Since vaccines on their own won’t halt the spread of the virus, Simao said people need to continue to use masks and practice social distancing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hasn’t faltered from its guidance that vaccinated individuals don’t need to wear a mask but Los Angeles County is following the WHO and recommending people mask up.
For some, the uncertainty called into question whether America will have to close down again, sparking concerns about their livelihoods and ability for businesses to stay open. Having monthly payments, regardless of the amount, would give people the ability to plan, according to Bonin.
“We all are incredibly resilient if we know the tools we have to be resilient with,” Bonin said. “$1,000 a month, $800 a month, it isn’t enough to pay all the monthly bills. But if I know I just have that I can figure out what I do from there.”
Bonin’s petition, which she started last year after her restaurant had to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, calls on Congress to pass legislation to send out $2,000 monthly stimulus checks to adults. It also asks Congress to send out $1,000 payments for children and continue the financial aid until the crisis is over.
The petition broke 2.4 million signatures on June 24, about three weeks after it hit 2.3 million. At that pace, the petition was set to hit its goal of 3 million signatures in about 18 weeks. However, at the current pace, the petition could hit its goal in about 11 weeks.
If it hits its goal of 3 million signatures, it will be one of the most signed petitions on Change.org and Bonin is confident it’ll hit the goal.
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