As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus passes 70,000 and many Americans remain hesitant to return to the rhythms of everyday life, the White House is beginning to acknowledge that some lives may be lost in the push to reopen the country’s economy. During a Tuesday television appearance, President Trump admitted that it is “possible” that more Americans will die as stay-at-home orders are lifted. Earlier in the day, he told reporters that some people would be affected badly, “but we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.”
Though the rate of infection shows no sign of slowing, Vice President Pence told reporters on Tuesday that the federal government’s coronavirus task force could be dismantled in the next month because “of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.”
Here are some significant developments:
- President Trump’s demand for a payroll tax cut has little support among Republicans in Congress, complicating negotiations over the next coronavirus relief bill.
- Coronavirus task force volunteers recruited by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner lacked relevant experience and bungled attempts to obtain crucial medical supplies, according to a complaint.
- Some publicly traded companies are refusing to return the money they received through a small-business loans program, saying that the Treasury Department changed its rules after it had already granted them the funds.
- Almost every inmate inside a Louisiana women’s prison facility has tested positive for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court has ruled that a Miami jail cannot be forced to give soap, masks and cleaning supplies to inmates.
- Many infectious disease researchers have expressed skepticism about a new paper — not yet peer-reviewed — suggesting that a strain of the coronavirus has mutated to become more contagious.
- A Dallas salon owner who made headlines by defying stay-at-home orders to reopen has been sentenced to seven days in jail.
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