Reprinted from The American Prospect by David Dayen on November 30, 2020.
“By late October, the best grasp of America’s perilous economic situation was coming from GoFundMe, the internet’s largest donation platform,” writes David Dayen in The American Prospect. “The website had already become a de facto large insurance company, as hundreds of thousands of patients struggling with exorbitant medical bills started fundraising campaigns every year. By 2019, one-third of all donations on GoFundMe went toward health care costs, according to former CEO Rob Solomon.
“But the pandemic created a new kind of precarity in America. From March 1 to August 31, just 3.2 percent of all donation campaigns went toward medical bills. Demand grew so much for other needs that GoFundMe announced a new fundraising category: Rent, Food, and Monthly Bills.
“GoFundMe’s October 22 Medium announcement about this read more like an earnest white paper from a liberal think tank: ‘According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 10 percent of American adults reported they sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat within the past week, and 179 million Americans are at risk of losing utilities services such as water, heat, and energy … Eight million more people have slipped into poverty since May. Millions of families across the country can’t pay rent and many are facing eviction.’ …