Saturday , September 19 2020

Coronavirus Live Updates: 3.2 Million More Claim Unemployment Benefits in the U.S. – The New York Times,

In many states, more than 28 percent of workers are unemployed. President Trump has encouraged governors to relax social-distancing rules, even though most states do not meet the guidelines set forth by the White House because documented cases are still growing.

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An additional 3.2 million people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total tally over seven weeks to more than 46 million.

(A food distribution point in the Bronx in April. Credit … Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

. ) As millions more Americans join the jobless rolls, even more economic pain is in the forecast.

Another 3.2 million people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, in the latest evidence of the economic devastation from the coronavirus pandemic.

The US government report released Thursday brings the total tally over seven weeks to more than 44 million. The weekly numbers have declined since reaching a peak of 6.9 million claims in late March. But the data remains shocking: In many states, more than a quarter of the work force is jobless.

Economists expect the monthly jobs report from the Labor Department, due Friday, to show that the unemployment rate in April was percent or higher, a Depression-era level. The figure will almost certainly understate the damage.

The current economic picture is, in a word, bleak. But even in the longer term, many economists warn, the outlook is far from promising, and the quick rebound that President Trump predicts may not materialize.


“We don’t know what normal is going to look like,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist and a labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative.

The decline has been so sudden and so widespread, and consumers are so frightened, that the road back to the economy of (looks more like a slog than a leap.)

Europe’s economy will shrink by 7.4 percent this year, (according to projections by the European Commission . In the recession of 2020 that followed the global financial crisis, it contracted by 4.5 percent.
A majority of US states don’t meet the White House’s guidelines for reopening.


Clearwater Beach in Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis opened the beaches on Monday. (Credit … Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

More than half of states have begun to reopen their economies or plan to do so soon. But most fail to meet criteria recommended by the Trump administration to resume business and social activities.

The White House’s nonbinding guidelines suggest that states should have a “downward trajectory” of documented cases or of the percentage of tests that come back positive. Public health experts have criticized the metrics because they do not specify a threshold for case numbers or positive rates and do not define a downward trajectory.

“With so many places opening up before we see indicators of meaningful, sustained transmission declines, there is substantial risk of resurgence , “said Kimberly Powers, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The (Associated Press reported on Thursday that a set of detailed documents created by the United States’ top infectious disease experts to give local leaders advice on how to reopen safely had been shelved by the Trump administration.

The – page report by the centers for disease control and prevention, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was supposed to be published last Friday and was more detailed than the guidelines released by the White House, according to the AP
Trump wants the nation to move on to the recovery phase despite the risks of a greater death toll.


(President President Trump in the Oval Office on Wednesday. When asked if deaths would rise as a result of reopening, he said, “It could very well be the case.”

Credit … Doug Mills / The New York Times

But Peter Baker writes that Mr. Trump’s cure-can’t-be-worse-than-the-disease logic is clear: As bad as the virus may be, the cost of the virtual national lockdown has grown too high. With at least 44 million people out of work and businesses collapsing by the day, (keeping the country at home seems unsustainable. With the virus still spreading and no vaccine available until next year at the earliest, though, the president has decided that for life to resume for many, some may have to die.

“Hopefully that won’t be the case,” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday when asked if deaths would rise as a result of reopening, but he added, “It could very well be the case.”


“But we have to get our country open again,” he continued. “People want to go back, and you’re going to have a problem if you don’t do it.”

Most US outbreaks were seeded by travel from New York, researchers find.


The Theater district in New York. on March 16 Credit … George Etheredge for The New York Times

New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infect ions in the United States, new research has revealed , as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country.

The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York through much of the country before the city began setting social-distancing limits. That helped to fuel outbreaks in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas and as far away as the West Coast.

The findings by geneticists were drawn by tracking signature mutations of the virus, travel histories of infected people and models of the outbreak by infectious-disease experts.

The central role of New York’s outbreak shows that decisions made by state and federal officials – including waiting to impose distancing measures and to limit international flights – helped shape the trajectory of the outbreak and allowed it to grow in the rest of the country

Acting earlier would most likely have blunted the virus’s march across the country, researchers say.

“It means that we missed the boat early on, and the vast majority in this country is coming from domestic spread,” said Kristian Andersen, a professor in the department of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research. “I keep hearing that it’s somebody else’s fault. That’s not true. It’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s our own fault. ”

Raising ‘the specter of multiple famines,’ the UN says humanitarian disaster is looming.



People left out of work by the pandemic waited to receive government cash support on Tuesday in Quezon City, the Philippines.
Credit … Ezra Acayan / Getty Images

The United Nations on Thursday more than tripled the size of its humanitarian aid appeal to help the most vulnerable countries threatened by the coronavirus pandemic to $ 6.7 billion, from the $ 2 billion initially sought just six weeks ago.

The enormous expansion of the appeal, announced by Mark Lowcock , the top humanitarian aid official at the United Nations, reflected what he described as an updated global plan that includes nine additional countries deemed especially vulnerable: Benin, Djibouti, Liberia, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zimbabwe.

While the peak of the pandemic in the poorest countries is not expected until somewhere between three and six months from now, “there is already evidence of incomes plummeting and jobs disappearing, food supplies failing and prices soaring, and children missing vaccinations and meals, ” (the said in a statement.

“Unless we take action now, we should be prepared for a significant rise in conflict, hunger and poverty, ”Mr. Lowcock, who heads the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said. He added that “the specter of multiple famines” loomed if the help fell short.

Even as the – member organization announced the new target for humanitarian fund-raising, it was still facing challenges in fulfilling the earlier $ 2 billion goal set by the secretary general , António Guterres, on March 28. About $ 1 billion has been raised.

That money, the United Nations said, has gone to funding for hand-washing stations in vulnerable locations such as refugee camps, the distribution of gloves and masks, and the training of more than 1.7 million people, including health workers, on virus identification and protection measures.

Mr. Lowcock’s office projected recently that the long-term cost of protecting the most vulnerable (percent of people in the world from the worst impacts of the pandemic was approximately $ billion. That amount is equivalent to about 1 percent of the current economic stimulus packages announced by the world’s most affluent countries.

Polls show the pandemic’s economic toll on people of color.

The pandemic has exacted a disproportionate toll on people of color, killing them at higher rates (in) (many places) . Two polls released this week suggested that the economic fallout had been especially stark for Hispanics and black people as well.


The Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that 22 percent of Hispanics had been laid off or furloughed since the start of the outbreak in the United States – nearly double the rate for white workers – and percent of black workers had encountered similar economic distress.

A separate survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 63 percent of Latinos had experienced some kind of “income loss,” stemming from job losses, reduced hours and the like, because of the outbreak. The poll found that percent of black people surveyed reported income loss, and 43 percent of white people.

Federal data from recent years suggests that black people and Latinos were less likely than white people to have jobs that allowed them to work from home easily.

As restaurants remain closed, American cities fear the future.


Olio, an Italian restaurant in St. Anthony Louis, was converted from an old gas station.

Credit … (Whitney Curtis) for The New York Times

The nation’s cities are peppered with places just like Botanical Heights, the St. Louis neighborhood once known mostly as a spot to buy illegal drugs but more recently for its restaurant boom.

Earlier this year, you could stand in the parking lot of Olio, the Italian kitchen that came first, and see a French pastry shop, a Mexican place and a new omakase restaurant that has already won national attention.

The businesses are still there today, but now their doors are locked or their hours are slashed. As St. Louis begins cautious discussions about reopening, no one is sure how many of these food businesses will survive the coronavirus pandemic , and what will happen to Botanical Heights if they do not.

“Restaurants are extremely valuable to cities,” said Andrew Salkin, a founding principal of Resilient Cities Catalyst, a nonprofit focused on strengthening cities. “The benefit of having good restaurants outweighs just their tax benefits. They are the anchors of communities. ”

The danger facing restaurants, which thrive on crowded rooms and get by on razor- thin margins, poses a special threat to small cities and large towns where a robust food culture plays an outsize role in the economy.

In places that had been hollowed out by poverty and suburban flight, like parts of Indianapolis, Cleveland and Detroit, they are engines of growth. In other cities with a national reputation for good food that is out of proportion to their population, like Providence, RI, or Asheville, NC, dining is both a tourist attraction and a key part of their identity.

Already, restaurant closures have damaged urban economies in ways that are still being calculated. Of the 706, 0 nonfarm jobs lost in the United States in March, nearly percent came from food services and drinking places, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is how it looked when New York’s subway system shut down overnight for the first time.

(Video )


At midnight, the police began shooing riders out of the sprawling New York City subway system. An hour later, workers locked turnstiles and pulled yellow chains across station entrances. By 2: am, every passenger train was out of service.

As the subway system ground to a halt early Wednesday morning, it marked a watershed moment in New York City’s history: the first planned overnight shutdown of the subway since the system opened years ago.

With the city still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, the subway will remain closed daily from 1 am to 5 a.m. for the foreseeable future to allow more time to disinfect trains, stations and equipment.

The nightly shutdown is the pandemic’s latest blow to New York’s public transit, which is reeling as workers die and fall sick, ridership plummets and revenue evaporates.

But for the city to recover, the system needs to be restored, which means trying to make the subway as safe as possible to lure back leery riders.

New York Times reporters and photographers chronicled the first night the system just … stopped.

A test for the coronavirus that could be as simple as a pregnancy test.


A team of scientists has developed an experimental prototype for a relatively quick, cheap test to diagnose the coronavirus that gives results as simply as a pregnancy test does.

“We’re excited that this could be a solution that people won’t have to rely on a sophisticated and expensive laboratory to run,” said Feng Zhang, a researcher at the Broad Institute in Cambridge , Mass., And one of the pioneers of Crispr technology.

On Tuesday, Dr. Zhang and his colleagues Cinemagraph posted a description of their device On a website dedicated to their project, but their method has not yet been tested by other scientists, nor have their findings been published by a scientific journal that subjected them to scrutiny by independent experts.

Two other teams of researchers, one in Buenos Aires and the other in San Francisco, are also working to devise new tests to detect the virus using gene-editing technology.

Readers describe a way of finding solace: a daily walk.


Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times ) Credit

“I miss breathing in the air.” “Sometimes the city is like a dreamy, slowed-down version of itself.” “I close my eyes and listen to the waves.”

They wrote of stepping outside of their homes, outside of their deepening anxieties, outside of the sense that time is now measured against job losses, infections and death. They told us about waving to train conductors, like a child; about a flower’s flash of color and its scent on the breeze, filtered through the fabric of a mask; and about the realization “that there are some things that survive.”

The sports world is slowly rumbling back to life.



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