Covid-19 News: Live Updates – The New York Times
Senate Republicans are pushing ahead with their ‘skinny’ stimulus bill.
Senate Republicans plan to force a vote Thursday on their substantially scaled-back stimulus plan, in a maneuver all but guaranteed to fail amid opposition by Democrats who call the measure inadequate.
After months of struggling to overcome deep internal divisions over the scope of another relief measure, Republicans hope to present a near-united front in support of their latest plan. They can then try to blame the continuing impasse on Democrats, who are expected to oppose it en masse, denying it the 60 votes it would need to advance.
The package, which Republicans refer to as their “skinny” bill, includes federal aid for unemployed workers, small businesses, schools and vaccine development.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll have a good vote on our side,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said on Wednesday. “I would hope this might appeal to some of the Democrats.”
But Democrats, who have refused to accept any proposal less than $2.2 trillion, argue that the legislation does little to address the economic devastation of the pandemic.
The measure does not include another round of stimulus checks for American taxpayers or aid to state and local governments, omissions that cut down the overall price tag of the legislation. And while it would resume weekly federal jobless benefits that lapsed at the end of July, it would set them at $300 — half the original amount. Democrats are pressing to reinstitute the full payment.
“Instead of improving their offer, Senate Republicans have made it stingier and even less appropriate to the looming crisis that we have,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader. “I’m not sure what kind of negotiating strategy that is, but it sure isn’t serious strategy, and it sure won’t be successful.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been a point man in negotiations with Democrats on a recovery package, cast doubt Wednesday on whether any agreement could be reached, saying he was not sure whether there was still a chance.
“We’ll see,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “I hope there is. It’s important to a lot of people out there.”
A new survey highlights once again the disproportionately devastating effects the pandemic has had on Black and Latino Americans.
The survey, released on Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation, found that one-third of respondents had experienced stress, anxiety or sadness since the coronavirus crisis began.
But mental health concerns were reported at significantly higher rates for Black, Latino, female and low-income respondents.
“The same systemic inequities that affect health outcomes are also affecting social issues,” said Yaphet Getachew, one of the survey’s authors.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that Black and Latino residents are three times as likely to become infected with the virus and twice as likely to die from it as white Americans.
And last month, a C.D.C. survey found that Black and Latino people reported rising levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, and increased substance abuse, stemming from the stress of the virus.
Black and Latino Americans might experience more emotional stress because they are overrepresented in service sector jobs that do not allow for social distancing, the Commonwealth researchers said.
The researchers also found a gender disparity when it came to mental health problems, probably because of the child care burden falling disproportionately on women as schools closed.
The survey’s authors noted that mental health is often intertwined with economic stability. Their research shows Black and Latino people are more likely to have experienced financial challenges amid the health crisis, like the depletion of personal savings or debt.
They argued that their results point to an urgent need for more economic resources directed to Black and Latino communities. The Paycheck Protection Program, for example, was intended to prioritize lending to businesses owned by women and people of color, but many have reported trouble gaining access to those relief funds.
“We need to make sure the resources being disseminated for Covid-19 relief actually get to the communities that need them most,” said Laurie Zephyrin, another author of the report. “These surveys can help target where the need is.”
As hospitals in Indonesia’s capital near capacity, the authorities will reimpose a partial shutdown on Monday that includes a work-from-home requirement, a ban on large gatherings and restrictions on houses of worship.
“We will pull the emergency brake, which means we are forced to re-implement large-scale social restrictions like in the early days of the pandemic,” Jakarta’s governor, Anies Baswedan, told reporters on Wednesday.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most-populous nation, implemented social-distancing restrictions early in the pandemic but later relaxed them in the hope of restarting its stalled economy. In recent weeks, however, the number of reported cases has surged past 200,000, and independent experts say the total is likely many times higher.
Indonesia’s health care system is notoriously understaffed and underfunded. More than 185 doctors, dentists and nurses have died from Covid-19, professional associations say.
Since Sunday, Jakarta has been reporting more than 1,000 new cases a day — about a third of the national daily total — and Mr. Anies said the city’s hospitals were filling quickly with coronavirus patients.
He predicted that all hospital beds would be taken by early October and that intensive care units would be full by Sept. 25 if the city did not take immediate action to slow the spread of the virus.
In the neighboring city of Bekasi, another virus hot spot, officials were preparing the city’s stadium as an isolation center to house people who have tested positive for the coronavirus but do not have symptoms, said the mayor, Rahmat Effendi.
In Jakarta, where the city had reported nearly 50,000 cases and more than 1,300 deaths as of Thursday morning, the designated cemetery for coronavirus victims has been filling quickly and was expected to run out of room by mid-October.
Mr. Anies said the city was still working out details of restrictions on gatherings, travel, and prayers at mosques, always a sensitive issue in the predominantly Muslim country. Most schools have not reopened since they were shut down months ago — a particular challenge for rural schoolchildren who lack internet and cellphone service.
In other developments around the world:
A day after AstraZeneca announced a global pause in late-stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine, the Serum Institute of India — which has partnered with the company and is shouldering the costs of domestic production — said on Wednesday that the country’s drug regulators had not instructed it to pause domestic trials. “The Indian trials are continuing and we have faced no issues at all,” the institute said on Twitter. India, which has more than 4.4 million confirmed cases, said on Thursday that 95,735 new infections had been reported over the previous 24 hours, a single-day record.
The new sound of Japanese sports: Silence.
What did our Tokyo bureau chief, Motoko Rich, hear when she attended a recent soccer match in Tokyo? Here’s what she wrote about going to the game, which before the pandemic would have been a boisterous experience:
As the players drove the ball down the field, I suddenly heard the distinct crinkle of a plastic bag a full four rows in front of me, where a man was pulling out a chicken drumstick to eat.
This was the sound of Japanese professional soccer in the era of the coronavirus.
While the major sports leagues in the United States and Europe are playing mostly before empty stands or cardboard cutouts, fans in Japan have been attending games since early July, after a four-month hiatus.
But there are trade-offs.
In normal times, Japanese fans are not only loud, they are also extremely orchestrated and utterly disciplined. Nonstop through a match, they sing, cheer, chant, bang drums and wave enormous team flags — a boisterous spectacle that often rivals the actual play on the field for entertainment value.
Now, most of those activities are banned for fear that people might be roused into a frenzy of shouting, with any spray becoming a vector for spreading the virus.
So when I attended a home match on a recent Sunday surrounded by nearly 4,600 fans of FC Tokyo, one of 18 teams in the top tier of the Japan Professional Football League, or J-League, the spectators were scrupulously quiet — except for an occasional crinkle of a food wrapper or a spontaneous burst of applause.
Reporting was contributed by Emily Cochrane, Emma Goldberg, Mike Ives, Richard C. Paddock, Motoko Rich, Dera Menra Sijabat, Karan Deep Singh, Muktita Suhartono and Jin Wu.