Written by Destiny Garcia
San Diego has seen an all-time high of emergency spending during the Coronavirus pandemic. NBC has created a public record that reveals that the city has spent over $122 million on the pandemic. The CARES act will cover $98M, but the city will need to find a way to pay back the remaining $24M (which will only increase).
“That really escalated this to a level we’ve never seen before,” city of San Diego spokesman Jose Ysea said. “We’ve had wildfires and some floods that we’ve requested funding for, but something at this scale, we’ve never seen this before.”
Efforts to house the homeless in San Diego accounted for a third of the COVID- 19 spending, costing a whopping $41M. Another area of need was the police force, which received about $29 million. A city spokeswoman released a breakdown of where most of this money was spent which included security for the SDCCU Stadium, security for the Crown Plaza (intended use for many including homeless who were exposed to COVID), emergency operation centers, post-shift vehicle and equipment decontamination, and more.
President of the San Diego Police Officers Association, Jack Schaeffer said, “What I’m more concerned about as the person that represents the cops is the toll that they’ve paid emotionally and fiscally.” In other words, with the demand for police officers being high, many officers have to work longer shifts, which can be disastrous because it causes excess mental and physical strain.
Spokesman Ysea said that financially recovering from the pandemic will be hard; not just because the pandemic cost the city money, but also because the city brought in less revenue throughout the year.
“Before this whole pandemic started, we knew budgets were lean,” he said. “This just really threw a monkey wrench in all of that.”
Image by Doucefleur