Coronavirus sparks support for Universal Basic Income in unlikely places

Quartz

As pandemic panic mounts worldwide and more people globally are being told to stay home, one conservative American politician is taking a decidedly progressive position, proposing interim Universal Basic Income.

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah today said that every American should get a $1,000 check to cover costs and keep the economy running, in addition to a slew of other measures to mitigate the pandemic’s fiscal fallout.

While Romney didn’t call his plan “UBI,” this idea—now floated in the context of a possible global economic recession—is one that former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang made the basis of his recently-ceased campaign. Last year, he even announced a free money giveaway to 10 American families during a Democratic candidates’ debate.

Hawaiian Democratic representative Tulsi Gabbard, a presidential candidate who is no longer appearing on debate stages, has also explicitly called for emergency UBI. She tweeted that it is “the most, simple, direct means to ensure people can take care of themselves and loved ones.”

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