What you missed in Columbus for March 8
The city appeared in a ‘60 Minutes’ segment on ‘The Unequal Recession’
Over the weekend, “60 Minutes” aired a segment filmed in Columbus and centered on the unbalanced recession created by COVID-19.
The report detailed how the low-income job market has been decimated by bar and restaurant closures and drops in attendant business, while mid-level and upper-income workers have largely returned to work. Combined with a social safety net ravaged by the coronavirus, this development has created even greater economic inequality in a city and country where the divide is already staggering.
One of the on-air profiles focused on Columbus resident Courtney Yoder, who was living in a tent and working a restaurant job to save for housing when the pandemic hit. “I had stacked up three checks. I was actually trying,” she said. “And then all of that gets taken from me.”
For the segment, the news program also interviewed the likes of Mid-Ohio Food Bank CEO Matt Habash, Ohio Guard Major General John Harris, Star House CEO Ann Bischoff and retired Columbus firefighter and homeless advocate Steve Roth. Roth offers the reporter a look at a South Side homeless encampment and talks about the services the city’s homeless have been forced to go without, including soup kitchens and places like libraries, which are sources of warmth amid the winter cold, both of which have been closed by COVID-19.
The segment paints a bleak but necessary picture, noting that the Congressional Budget Office said that low-wage jobs are unlikely to recover until 2024, making legislation like the COVID-19 relief package, which is expected to pass the House on Tuesday, essential to struggling workers like Yoder, who recently moved into an apartment with help from a charity.
“I’m still fighting,” Yoder says near the end of the segment, speaking for many in Columbus and throughout the country who have been left in similarly dire circumstances.
According to a preliminary report on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol produced by the research team at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, Franklin County, Ohio ranked among the top three counties in the U.S. for highest number of people charged per county. The report documents charges brought against alleged participants in more than 180 counties. You can read the report in full here.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry conducted a primetime interview with Oprah on Sunday, during which the couple detailed allegations of racism against the Royal Family, including one member who expressed concerns over how dark the complexion of the couple’s first child, son Archie, might be. For those interested, Rolling Stone has a solid recap of the interview highlights here.