What You Need To Know Today: Coronavirus, Economy, Joe Biden
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We cover the signs that the government’s stimulus program does not work, the spread of the coronavirus to workers in Food processing plants in the United States, and, to change the pace, Weird Al Yankovic. And it’s Friday, so there is a new topical quiz.
The Federal Reserve said Thursday it could inject $ 2.3 trillion into the economy, using measures that go far beyond anything the central bank attempted during the 2008 financial crisis.
It is as if “the economy as a whole has suddenly fallen into a black hole,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief US financial economist at Oxford Economics.
From the review: The US economy has nearly doubled in size over the past four decades, but broad measures of economic health mask an uneven distribution of earnings. These charts show the areas in which the country is likely to struggle.
Related: A federal loan program that promises emergency relief for small businesses lacks funding. The program is supposed to offer up to $ 2 million, but recent applicants have said they have been told loans will be capped at $ 15,000 per borrower.
Another angle: OPEC and other countries, including Russia, have reached an agreement in principle to temporarily reduce oil production. Here are the latest financial updates. (Markets in the United States and much of Europe are closed today for Good Friday.)
The risks for American food workers
As the pandemic hits meat processing plants, some companies have offered financial incentives to keep workers at work. But the spread of the disease is forcing factories to close.
“My mom said the guy at the factory said they had to work to feed America. But my mother was sick, ”said the son of a woman who worked in a poultry factory in Georgia. She died Thursday.
There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food, but health experts have advised wiping down packaging as the virus could survive on these surfaces for days.
Here are the latest updates from the United States and abroad, as well as maps of the pandemic.
We are also tracking the growth rate of the virus in hundreds of metropolitan areas across the United States.
In other developments:
The number of new patients hospitalized with the virus in New York state is declining, but the daily death toll on Thursday was nearly 800 for a second day, bringing the total number of deaths to over 7,000. latest updates from our Metro office.
President Trump’s allies told The Times they want him to limit his appearances during daily coronavirus briefings. The briefings were popular on television, but Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said the president “sometimes drowns his own message”.
“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about Asian Americans who say they have been attacked and blamed for the pandemic.
The details: We’ve compiled expert advice on several topics including health, money, and travel.
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A new front for nationalism
Since World War II, the idea that global trade improves security and prosperity has been the driving force behind most major economies. When people trade goods across borders, logic dictates that they get better, cheaper products and become less likely to take up arms.
Now, while the whole world simultaneously needs the same rescue tools, national interests prevail. At least 69 countries have banned or restricted the export of protective equipment, medical devices or drugs, according to one estimate.
“The competition is much more closed than the countries which will manufacture iPads or even advanced jets”, write our journalists. “It’s a battle for supremacy over the products that can determine who lives and who dies.”
Another angle: Migrant workers were not only victims of the virus, but also propagators, creating new risks for a vulnerable population.
If you have a little time, it’s worth it
The enduring appeal of Weird Al Yankovic
The singer who, in the 1980s, built his career on song parodies, somehow never left.
A Times Magazine writer explains: “After 40 years, Yankovic is no longer a novelty, but an institution – a screaming bright spot in the midst of American pop-cultural wallpaper, a completely ridiculous national treasure, an absurd living legend. “
Above, Weird Al with 232 fans at a photoshoot in January, before the world got much weirder.
Here is what else is happening
Change for Joe Biden: The former vice-president announced proposals to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare to 60 and expand student debt cancellation programs, as part of an effort to appeal to progressives.
Wisconsin’s electoral mess: In the state’s rush to expand mail-in voting, thousands of mail-in ballots were either not delivered or were spoiled.
Ignored flood protection rules: Local governments across the United States have flouted Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements for new and rebuilt homes, but almost none have been penalized for it.
Instantaneous: Above, Wells Tavern in London, which closed last month during the coronavirus pandemic. During two world wars, British pubs remained open, but they have now been forced to close. (This includes the one preferred by your briefing team and the rest of The Times London newsroom, aka “The Crown We’re Going To.”)
Topical quiz: Did you catch the headlines this week? Test yourself.
Modern love: In this week’s column, a woman who lost her husband 56 years on the eve of the pandemic braced herself for desperation, but felt resilient.
Late night comedy: “Easter isn’t at all exciting this year, probably because I’ve already spent the last three weeks driving for eggs,” said Jimmy Kimmel.
What we read: This recent Q. and A. in the Harvard Business Review with David Kessler, co-author of “On Grief and Grieving”. James Robinson, our director of global analysis, said that this “gave a name to something that I think many of us feel: anticipated grief.”
Now a break from the news
It turns out that the Times reporters had joined them: “Not The New York Times” was also an inside job.
The parody had three sections, 24 joke ads, 73 parody articles and 155 fake news, all meticulously edited to mimic the style of The Times. Even the fonts used on the first page and headline spacing mimicked those on real paper.
The columnist praised Genghis Khan for his ability to “get things done”, and a thorough investigation by a team of 35 journalists from Not The Times found that cocaine “seems popular”.
“We all had a lot of free time,” said designer Richard Yeend.
After the strike ended, Times reporters returned to work and remained silent about their satirical moonlighting.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Weird Al provided the soundtrack this morning. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh have taken a break from the news. The Back Story was based on Alex Traub’s reporting. You can reach the team at [email protected]
• We listen to “The Daily”. Today’s episode focuses on reports of attacks on Asian Americans.
• Here are today’s mini crosswords and a hint: hurricanes have strong ones (five letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The Times climate reporters will discuss some of the unintended consequences of the coronavirus pandemic during a group call with readers today at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. RSVP here.