The US economy cut 20.5 million jobs in April.
The Labor Department said on Friday that the economy cut more than 20.5 million jobs in April, dropping the unemployment rate to 14.7% as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc.
The damage is the most serious since the Great Depression, far exceeding the 8.7 million jobs lost during the last recession, when unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009. The only comparable period is when unemployment reached around 25% in 1933, before the government began publishing official statistics.
Most forecasters expect the unemployment rate to remain high at least until 2021, and possibly longer. This means that it will be years before workers have the bargaining power that began to bring them faster wage gains and better benefits before the crisis.
But in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Friday, President Trump predicted that the economy would return to roar after the “artificial” closure.
“These jobs will all be back and they will come back very soon,” said Mr. Trump, “and next year we are going to have a phenomenal year. “
Low-paid workers, including many women and members of racial and ethnic minorities, were particularly affected. Many service jobs are impossible to do remotely and have been cut, and some workers have put their health at risk by staying on the job.
With tens of millions of jobless claims exploding in just a few weeks, unemployment offices have struggled to hire more workers, upgrade computers and add call centers, but still have struggling to deal with the crash. Applicants complain that they have difficulty entering the system. Many of those who have successfully filed for benefits say there are gaps in their payments, even if they certify their unemployment status every week.
Patricia Cohen and Tiffany Hsu report that checks have also been slow in coming.
Alexander Talley, 28, filed for unemployment benefits almost eight weeks ago, immediately after being put on leave on March 13 from his job at an upscale restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He received nothing until April 28, when $ 1,300 in retroactive payments from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity appeared in his bank account.
“It was absolutely horrible,” said Talley of filing his claim and awaiting payment. He didn’t have a laptop, so he had to do the process on his iPhone. Often, he said, he felt lost. “The only information I could find to keep myself from going completely crazy was Twitter and Facebook. “
The largest cities in the country are proving to be the focal points of the virus.
The three largest cities in the United States – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – are also the main generators of new cases of coronavirus every day, according to the data.
Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago and New York City, now reports roughly the same number of cases each day; Los Angeles County, California still has the third case.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to unveil a plan to gradually reopen the city soon, but has warned that Chicago is not yet ready to return to normal. “We can’t send people back to work, we can’t open our city yet when we don’t see a decrease in cases, which we haven’t seen at all yet,” said Lightfoot Thursday, adding: “When we don’t see a sustained drop in hospitalizations, intensive care beds, all of these things are really important and the data should guide our action from a public policy perspective.”
New York, although greatly improved, still reports the highest number of cases and deaths in the country every day.
The emergence of the country’s largest cities as focal points of the virus comes as heads of state struggle against growing tensions over when and how to restart economies.
Across the country, about 29,000 new cases and about 1,900 new deaths were reported on Thursday, but the picture is uneven, from state to state and even from county to county, prompting a mix of responses across the best way to do it now.
The areas around Lincoln, New Brunswick, Des Moines and St. Cloud, Minnesota, are experiencing a rapid increase in the number of cases, as do parts of western Kentucky. However, the situation in Miami, Detroit and New Orleans has improved considerably in recent weeks. Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Montana identify few new cases.
President Trump said Thursday that he and Vice President Mike Pence, along with White House staff, would be tested daily after a member of the military who had contact with the president was diagnosed with coronavirus.
Asked by reporters about the aid, which a senior administration official described as the president’s personal valet, Trump downplayed the question.
“I had very little contact, personal contact with this gentleman,” he said. But he added that he and other White House officials and staff would be tested more frequently.
A White House spokesperson said that Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence had both tested negative for the virus since their exposure to military aid. But the episode raised new questions about protecting Mr. Trump and other senior officials while they work in the White House, usually without masks, especially before a meeting on Friday with WWII veterans world.
Eight veterans – each over the age of 95, an age group at high statistical risk for serious coronavirus disease – were scheduled to participate in a photo op at the White House and an event at the Second World War Memorial nearby to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the German surrender, known as VE Day. The granddaughter of one of the veterans said that she thought asking them to travel across the country was “very irresponsible.”
The US Department of Agriculture this week rejected a plea from the California Department of Education to allow parents or legal guardians of children who are entitled to free school meals to eat meals for themselves as well that the spread of hunger in the largest state in the country.
California’s request for an exemption from the federal school lunch program rules, submitted last month, was being monitored by other states in hopes of using existing school meal distribution programs to feed hungry adults.
Kim Frinzell, director of nutrition services for the California Department of Education, said she felt compelled to ask as desperation spreads.
“Food insecurity doesn’t stop with children,” said Frinzell. “Everyone is struggling financially and we wanted to make sure we had lots of access to food.”
The Ministry of Agriculture, which administers the free and discounted meal program, has not formally responded to the request for a waiver, but a spokesperson said the ministry “has no authority to reimburse adult meals through the summer meal program. ”
Crystal FitzSimons, director of school programs at the Food Research and Action Center, said school meal programs are not designed to provide food for adults unless they have a disability and are receiving care from school.
But, she added, “it is certainly a creative approach to ensuring that families have access to nutrition.”
Many schools across the country have started operating as community soup kitchens. But without federal reimbursement of adult meals, school districts will have to rely on donations from philanthropic organizations, their own general school district funds, and grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Nearly 40 school nutrition groups have called on Congress to provide $ 2.6 billion in relief funds for these schools. “Funding must be provided to make programs financially solvent and to maintain the integrity of essential food security programs early in the recovery process, with many more children relying on school meal programs,” the groups wrote. .
Friday morning, in an interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said he would commit to providing rapid coronavirus testing to his presidential opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., if the Biden campaign needed it.
“I would love to see him come out of the basement so he can speak, because you know he’s locked up in a basement somewhere, and every time he talks, it’s like a good thing Said Mr. Trump in response to a question. on Fox News.
“I will give them the test immediately, we will give them today,” said Trump. “No one ever asked me for the test. “
He added that he would ensure that he was “one of the Abbots”, referring to a rapid response test capability developed by Abbott Laboratories called ID Now. “It is an excellent laboratory and we would have one or two machines today if they needed it,” he said.
Trump said he has been tested often and will continue to be tested daily after learning that one of his personal valets has tested positive for the virus. The president said he has not yet had an antibody test, but he expects to do so at some point.
The president also repeated his prediction that 100,000 people would die from the virus, and said it could be more. “100,000, 110 or more,” he said in the interview. “You are talking, I think, of two Yankee stadiums of people,” he said, who would be 108,502, based on the number of seats in the stadium.
New York City will soon assemble an army of more than 1,000 disease detectives to find the contacts of each person tested positive for coronavirus, an approach considered crucial to quell the epidemic and pave the way for the reopening of the hampered city .
But this effort will not be led by the city’s health department, which for decades has been conducting contact tracing for diseases such as tuberculosis, H.I.V. and Ebola, officials said on Thursday.
Instead, far from current and past practice, the city will put the vast new public health system in the hands of its public hospital system, Health and Hospitals, officials in the city admitted after being approached by the New York Times changes.
The move, which Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to announce on Friday, has intrigued current and former health officials, who have questioned the wisdom of changing what has worked before, especially during a pandemic.
The Department tracked coronavirus cases at the start of the epidemic, and did so again recently, to scale up these efforts.
Dr. Mary T. Bassett, a The former city health commissioner under the leadership of Mr. de Blasio and now director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, said that the three key elements of coronavirus manipulation – screening , tracing and quarantine – have long been done by health. department.
“These are essential functions of public health agencies around the world, including New York, which has decades of experience,” said Dr. Bassett in an email. “To face Covid-19, it makes sense to rely on this expertise.”
The mayor said on Friday that police would limit entry to Hudson River Park in Manhattan and Domino Park in Brooklyn to avoid congestion.
A government program offering low-interest loans and tiny grants to small businesses affected by the pandemic has stopped taking almost all new requests because its funding has run out.
The initiative, known as The economic disaster loan program is an extension of an emergency system run by the Small Business Administration, which has been helping businesses in the aftermath of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, for years. To speed up multibillion-dollar aid, the government is directly funding the loans, saving applicants the step of finding a lender willing to work with them.
The Small Business Administration did not disclose the number of requests received or the number of loans approved. The program was supposed to finance up to $ 2 million in loans and up to $ 10,000 in grants.
Another fund, the better-known Paycheque Protection Program, which aims to keep workers busy, has also experienced problems. Analysis of government data by Times journalists Karl Russell and Stacy Cowley show how first payments were most often made in areas of the country that were not as badly affected by coronavirus, as well as in a small number of companies looking for millions of help .
The reopening of California has officially started, but people may not notice much difference.
There will not be a mass of people flocking to bars and restaurants, which are supposed to be closed, except for takeout, and in-person religious services are still closed.
The manufacturers and suppliers of these types of businesses can also operate under the change.
“These are significant changes,” said Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday. “We are now moving away from the essential or the non-essential for a lower or higher risk. “
Also on Thursday, state officials set out criteria for counties hoping to open earlier than the state more widely, including opening restaurants for dinner. The county must certify, among other things, that there have been no virus-related deaths in the past 14 days and that tests are available for at least 75% of residents within 30 minutes by car in the areas urban and one hour in rural areas. .
Until recently, intergovernmental friction over individual state responses to the coronavirus and plans to restart state economies was dominated by skirmishes between executives, with tension between mayors and governors, governors and president.
But as state legislatures meet and states take interim steps toward a semblance of normality, legislators have become increasingly assertive, demanding to define a clearer role for the legislature and defying the governors who have become the face of their state’s response.
Mississippi state lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last week to take away the governor’s power to spend more than $ 1.2 billion in federal funds. In Wisconsin, attorneys for Republican leaders have argued before the state’s Supreme Court in support of the governor’s order on home security.
And in Louisiana, plexiglass barriers separated masked lawmakers as they returned to work this week and were quick to postpone Governor John Bel Edwards’ decision to extend his stay order until May 15, even if that meant resorting to a petition to quash his declaration of emergency.
A dozen states have returned to the session or are expected to meet again in the coming weeks. And as more and more state legislatures come online, lawmakers will face enormous governance challenges during a pandemic.
The economic damage has been devastating, squeezing out businesses, causing job losses and disturbing voters whose lives and livelihoods have been disrupted. State and local governments are also forecasting large budget deficits as tax revenues erode.
The law gives the governor great authority in emergencies – “for good reason,” said Sharon Hewitt, Republican senator for the state of Louisiana.
“But,” added Ms. Hewitt, “I also agree that the Legislative Assembly should play a greater role.
Recent polls suggest Americans heed advice from health officials and do not want a quick return to normalcy despite spikes in unemployment due to the virus and President Trump’s cheerleaders to reopen ‘economy.
And in a According to a survey published late last month by the Associated Press and NORC, 68% of Americans said they had great confidence in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide them with reliable information about the pandemic. That’s three times more than the dismal 23 percent who said they really trusted Mr. Trump’s statements about the virus.
The effects of the virus are felt most intensely in states with high populations in cities, and the six most infected states per capita are all politically democratic. Blacks and Latinos have some of the highest infection rates: more than a quarter of all confirmed cases have occurred in Latinos, according to C.D.C. statistics, and even more were among African-Americans.
The 14 students enrolled showed up Thursday morning at the two-room school in Cohagen, Le Mont, one of the first communities to reopen the doors of the school across the country while tens of millions of children remain at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Parents were given the opportunity to keep their children at home, but none chose to do so, according to Joni Carroll, the only teacher in the school, who looks after preschool through eighth grade.
A handful of other rural districts in Montana, where coronavirus cases have been rare, are also reopening. Thursday, 35 students showed up for class in Willow Creek, Mont., According to Superintendent Bonnie Lower, just over 60% of the population in the small district.
In the farming and farming town of Circle, some of the 190 students from the local public school are expected to return next week for meetings with their teachers and a shorter school day.
With a total of 35 staff members and only 10 seniors in the graduating class, the neighborhood is not faced with high school challenges like overflowing hallways or crowded classrooms. However, the school will stagger the days when different grades are allowed, and this limits the number of people who can meet with teachers at any time – a glimpse, perhaps, of what awaits other students across the country in the fall.
“Everyone hopes for seasonality” when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, said Peter Juni of the University of Toronto. Maybe, just maybe, summer will decrease the spread of Covid-19.
But a new study by Dr. Juni, an epidemiologist, and colleagues in Canada and Switzerland, does little to encourage these hopes. In countries around the world, according to his research, variations in heat and humidity have little or no effect on the spread of the pandemic. Differences in how the disease spread was rather strongly associated with public health measures such as social isolation and school closings.
Several other studies have found or predicted modest effects from warmer climates or increased sunlight to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, but all have emphasized the need for public health interventions.
One reason is that most of the world’s population has no immunity to the virus. “It means the virus does not need favorable conditions” to spread, said Dr Juni.
He and his colleagues carried out a prospective study in which they selected 144 countries or “geopolitical zones” around the world and established the conditions which prevailed from March 7 to 13 in terms of temperature, humidity and measurements of public health.
“In our study,” wrote the researchers in the study published Thursday in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, “Only public health interventions were systematically associated with reduced growth in the epidemic, and the higher the number of concurrent public health interventions, the greater the reduction in growth.” “
Tensions soar in New York’s black and Hispanic neighborhoods the application of the rules of social distancing, leading some prominent elected officials to accuse the New York Police Department of engaging in a double racist standard as it struggles to become a public health role in the pandemic.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office became the city’s first prosecutor on Thursday to release statistics on the application of social distancing. In the neighborhood, police arrested 40 people for violations of social distancing from March 17 to May 4, the prosecutor’s office said.
Among those arrested, 35 were black, four Hispanic and one white. More than a third of the arrests were made in the predominantly black neighborhood of Brownsville, while no one was arrested in the whiter neighborhood of Park Slope.
After the New York Times reported figures Thursday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter that even though subpoenas and arrests were tools to save lives, “the disparity in numbers does NOT reflect our values. We must do better and we will do it. “
The restaurants receive customers in the dining rooms partially demarcated by social distancing, the friends seek a conversation in full safety in the sun and certain people try to continue a productive way in isolation.
The patchwork of rules supposed to slow the pandemic in the United States has continued to evolve as many state and local governments have lifted, moved and allowed to expire the regulations that governed openable businesses, as well as how public spaces could be used.
New York Times photographers have explored how people are looking for normality as states fight closures to curb the spread of the virus.
Epidemiologists across the country are examining more and more evidence that the coronavirus affects Latinos, particularly in certain states and communities, with particular strength.
Other groups, including African-Americans, have also been hit hard. But for doctors like Eva Galvez, who works as a family doctor for a network of clinics in northwest Oregon, the disparity for Latinos has become alarming. In tests of low-income patients in the past few weeks, she said, Latinos were 20 times more likely than other patients to contract the virus.
Oregon is just one of the many states where Latinos have a disproportionate level of impact. In Iowa, Latinos make up more than 20% of coronavirus cases, although they make up only 6% of the population. Latinos in Washington State represent 13% of the population but 31% of the cases. In Florida, Hispanics make up just over a quarter of the population but make up two out of five virus cases for which the patient’s ethnicity is known.
Public health experts say Latinos may be more vulnerable to the virus due to the same factors that have put minorities at risk across the country. Many have low-paying service jobs that force them to weather the pandemic and interact with the public. Many of them also do not have access to health care, which contributes to higher rates of diabetes and other conditions that can worsen infections. But the virus has not discriminated: its effects, experts say, have been seen in both immigrants and Latinos from multigenerational American families.
In Latin American communities with a longer history in the United States – such as those of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas – the differences are narrower, at least according to official data reported by States. Experts say that one of the reasons is that the places where Latin American communities are more established have a wider range of wealthier working and middle class families, who may work from home or take advantage of other coping options. to the pandemic.
To defend a good cry and other options to “lose it”.
Lie down in a fetal position, eat a sundae, call a friend: In these difficult times, there is an argument to be made to lose control (within reasonable limits). Here’s how all of these versions can help:
Read the latest news from Times correspondents around the world.
The Australian government released a cautious three-step plan on Friday to reopen the country by July, with states and territories controlling the calendar.
“We cannot allow our fear of backing up to keep us from moving forward,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The reports were provided by Eileen Sullivan, Alan Blinder, Neil Irwin, Patricia Cohen, Tiffany Hsu, Michael D. Shear, Lola Fadulu, Julie Bosman, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Ashley Southall, Michael Levenson, Jill Cowan, Michael Crowley, Rick Rojas, Giovanni Russonello, Marc Santora, James Gorman, J. David Goodman, William K. Rashbaum, Jeffery C. Mays, Ben Casselman Nelson D. Schwartz, Dana Goldstein, Jack Healy and Barbara Harvey.