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Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Making Direct Cash Payments Work

Join Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, for the first installment in Urban’s new conversation series, Evidence to Action. During this virtual event, Jack Smalligan, senior policy fellow at the Urban Institute, and David Kamin, professor of law at New York University School of Law, will join Wartell to discuss a key question facing federal policymakers: How can we get economic resources to those who need them most in time to respond to their urgent needs?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides direct cash payments to tens of millions of people. But those resources will only make a difference during this crisis if the government can deliver them quickly to those who need them most. As policymakers implement the CARES Act and consider a fourth COVID-19 relief package, Kamin, Smalligan, and Wartell will discuss how to ensure the policy response has its intended impact. 

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Evidence to action series

The Evidence to Action conversation series elevates the voices of leaders and changemakers responding to, recovering from, and building resilience during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Urban Institute was built for this moment. We answer tough questions with unbiased, rigorous research and evidence-based solutions. For 50 years, we have studied what it takes to strengthen social safety net programs, dismantle structural racism, protect workers and families, and build community resilience. Using advanced analytics, data science, technology, and decades of expertise, we equip changemakers with the facts and insights they need to accelerate solutions.


Until further notice, all Urban Institute events will be online. Watch our virtual events live or come back later for the recording.

Send any inquiries regarding this event to [email protected].


Date & Time Tuesday, April 14, 2020

  • Senior Policy Fellow
  • President