On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that Senate Republicans plan to support the direct payments in their next coronavirus relief proposal.
House Democrats also met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to push for more extra unemployment benefits due to expire at the end of the month.
In addition to a second round of stimulus checks to Americans, McConnell said he’ll also focus on providing money for the reopening of schools, funding for accelerating vaccine production and creating a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program “with a special eye for hard-hit industries.”
Meanwhile, Trump is demanding a payroll tax cut be included in the next coronavirus relief bill and wants to reduce funding for testing, additions that even some Republicans say is not good policy.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
A COVID Response Tracking Study finds severe disparities of economic experience during the pandemic by race and ethnicity, age and education. Forty-two percent of Hispanics and 32 percent of Blacks were likely to have lost income and to have delayed paying bills compared to 21% of whites. Younger Americans were more likely to have lost a job, put themselves at risk of exposure or delayed paying bills, while more older Americans lost investments.
The study also found that although restrictions have been lifted in many states, people still felt more lonely than might be expected. Researchers say this could be because of lack of income to resume normal activities or fear of exposing themselves to the virus.
Leaders at the Pan American Health Organization say the pandemic is “showing no signs of slowing down” in the Americas. Almost 900,000 new Covid-19 cases and nearly 22,000 deaths were reported last week in the Americas. The U.S., Mexico and Brazil reported the most new cases and deaths. However, Canada and several countries in the Caribbean have flattened the curve of infections and even resumed nonessential travel after successfully controlling outbreaks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control study, the number of reported coronavirus cases “vastly underestimate” the true number of infections in the U.S.
The CDC study says true Covid-19 rates were more than 10 times higher than reported cases in most U.S. regions from late March to early May.
Educators nationwide are contemplating if and when to begin in-person instruction as coronavirus cases surge. Teachers in Florida are now suing the state to block an emergency order requiring schools to open next month. The emergency order says all school districts, “must open brick and mortar schools at least five days a week for all students.” But the order also leaves the decision to reopen schools to local superintendents and school boards. Full funding will go to school districts that send reopening plans that are approved by the state.
The lawsuit filed by the Florida Education Association says, with the surge of coronavirus cases, the order violates a provision in the Florida Constitution requiring the state to ensure schools are operated safely.
Florida Governor DeSantis dismissed questions about the lawsuit, saying, “I didn’t give any executive order. That was the Department of Education.” The Florida education commissioner and six other members of Florida’s Board of Education are all appointed by the governor.
In an interview on CBS on Tuesday, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said in order to reopen schools, the country’s transmission rate of Covid-19 needs to decrease.
“If we want to get back to school, to worship, to regular life – folks need to wear face coverings, folks need to practice social distancing. Those public health measures are actually what’s going to lower the transmission rate,” Adams said.
He added that although the risk is low to students, they can transmit the disease unknowingly to other older or more vulnerable family members.
Professional networking website LinkedIn announced it will lay off about 960 employees due to the pandemic. The center of LinkedIn’s business model involves helping people search for jobs and connect with other professionals, features that have lost value as companies continue to lay off workers and freeze hiring.
Also On Black America Web: