A recovery bill sinks
Don’t expect any new virus stimulus before Election Day. That seems to be the takeaway after Senate Republicans today failed to advance their scaled-back plan, in the face of opposition from Democrats, who called it inadequate.
One of the main points of contention has been the $600 weekly jobless benefit supplement that unemployed workers received until the first aid package expired in July. Democrats have wanted to extend the full amount, while Republicans have pushed for no more than $200. (In lieu of a new stimulus, President Trump decided to give most jobless workers $300 a week using federal disaster relief funds.)
Republicans have argued that the extra $600 deterred people from going back to work because many ended up receiving more from the government than their previous employer. But studies by both conservative and liberal economists have not found that to be true.
Last week, more than 857,000 U.S. workers filed for unemployment, a slight uptick from the previous week. An additional 839,000 new claims were made under a federal program that offers aid to freelancers, part-time workers and others who do not usually qualify for state benefits.
The data shows just how tough the pandemic job market remains, months after most states have started loosening their lockdowns. For Black and Latino Americans, the situation is even more disheartening. A new study found that they have been more likely to face financial challenges during the health crisis — on top of higher rates of mental health problems, infection and death from the virus — than white Americans.
A heavy toll for teachers
A 28-year-old third-grade teacher and choir director in Columbia, S.C., died of Covid-19 on Monday, only three days after her illness was diagnosed.
Demetria “Demi” Bannister had been teaching her class at Windsor Elementary remotely since Aug. 31; she was last in the school building on Aug. 28, before the start of the school year. It was not clear that she had caught the virus at school; officials are now tracing her contacts to see if anyone else at the school or elsewhere has been infected.
Her parents, with whom she lived, found out they had tested positive on the day that she died, her uncle, Heyward Bannister, told The Times. Her mother is in the hospital.
For the past three weeks, students have been slowly returning to in-person classes in South Carolina, where about 14 percent of people being tested for the virus are positive. Most experts agree that schools should reopen only if positivity rates are lower than 5 percent. Columbia is in Richland County, which had the most positive cases in the state over the past seven days, according to a Times database.
Experts say it is inevitable, when the virus is circulating in the community, that some number of students and staff members will come to school with it. That makes it crucial for schools to have a plan to handle those cases.
Only a few weeks into the school year, the virus has also taken teachers in Missouri and Iowa; in Mississippi, a 42-year-old football coach died in August while self-quarantining with Covid symptoms, and a 53-year-old history teacher died of the disease earlier this week. A woman who taught special education at an Oklahoma high school for 26 years died of a heart attack linked to the virus in late August. Across the country, their deaths have stoked fears that campuses and classrooms will lead to more outbreaks.
What else we’re following
International flights from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first emerged, will resume next week — the next step in its emergence from a draconian lockdown.
Type O blood may lower the risk of developing Covid-19, researchers at the consumer genetics company 23andMe concluded in a new study.
Of 3,222 young adults hospitalized with Covid-19, 88 died, one in five needed intensive care, and one in 10 needed a ventilator, a new study found.
Coronavirus tests in the U.S. are supposed to be free thanks to government programs, but some patients have been hit with unexpected fees and denied claims.
JPMorgan has told senior trading-floor employees that they must return to the office by Sept. 21, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In Britain, the government and business lobby have urged workers to return to the office, but many in London have remained home, starving shops of customers.
Baseball games in Japan are known for spectators singing, chanting and drumming — but not anymore. Our Tokyo bureau chief describes what they’re like now.
What you’re doing
My sister and I are cleaning out our parents’ home. Our mother died in April, and we had no real closure. So we are sorting, room by room, item by item, through years of collected memorabilia that is worth nothing to the world, but everything to us. It is strangely cathartic.
— Peggy L. Ryan, Frederic, Wis.
Let us know how you’re dealing with the outbreak. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.
Amelia Nierenberg contributed to today’s newsletter.