Cooking the books

Evening Briefing
Bloomberg

The U.S. government will soon face critical deadlines to extend the largest bailout in history or let some or all of it lapse—with potentially dire consequences for the economy and individual Americans. Congress authorized more than $2 trillion in funding for workers, companies and industries as state efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus halted factories and commerce. But these programs are due to run out in the coming weeks and months, and decisions have yet to be made on what to do next. David E. Rovella

Bloomberg is mapping the pandemic globally and across America. For the latest news, sign up for our Covid-19 podcast and daily newsletter.

Here are today's top stories

The median weekly earnings of full-time workers in America jumped more than 10% in the second quarter of this year (as compared with a year earlier), the largest increase in the four decades the federal government has tracked such data. This is why that's terrible news.

Armed federal agents in green camouflage uniforms with no identifying insignia have been detaining people in the streets of Portland, Oregon, the ACLU and local politicians have said. Trump administration agents in Portland recently fired a projectile at an unarmed protester, critically injuring him, and have used tear gas against peaceful anti-police brutality demonstrations despite state law barring such use. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, said "a peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump's secret police," adding that the White House is seeking to "provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media." In Louisville, Kentucky, where the city's police shot dead emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor as she slept in her home, some 87 protesters were arrested as they demanded her killers be prosecuted. The city's mayor, Greg Fischer, is under investigation over his handling of Taylor's killing at the hands of police, and the violent tactics the Louisville Police Department used against protesters.

India saw its coronavirus cases exceed 1 million, becoming the third country to cross the seven-figure mark as the pathogen spreads rapidly in the world's second most-populous nation. India trails only the U.S. and Brazil, which have 3.6 million and 2 million infections respectively.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects results from a clinical trial on monoclonal antibodies, a potential new treatment for the virus, by late summer or early fall. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, described them as "precise bullets" developed from the antibodies of people who've been infected. While good news, there is much more bad news for America, as deaths rise quickly in states that reopened early. One of them is Georgia, where it seems Republican Governor Doug Kemp may have cooked the coronavirus books. By massaging data to justify early reopening, the staunch ally of President Donald Trump may have set the stage for the state's climbing rate of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Right now, Kemp is suing to keep Georgia municipalities from requiring face masks, the biggest single precaution individuals can take against spreading the virus. In Texas, where the virus is seemingly out of control, record death tolls are being set daily. Some 174 Texans died in one day, bringing total lives lost in the state to 3,735. Meanwhile, in one of the few states that had been keeping the virus at bay, transmission rates are starting to rise again.

Goldman Sachs says Moderna could file interim results on its Covid-19 vaccine with regulators sooner than many investors expect. The biotech firm is slated to start a 30,000-patient trial on July 27, and chances of an early filing on the results is under-appreciated, according to Goldman analysts. Still, most experts expect any successful vaccine, should one be developed, wouldn't be widely available until 2021 at the earliest. 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg began a course of chemotherapy to treat a recurrence of cancer, but says she is "fully able" to remain on the court. Ginsburg, 87, is one of four Democratic-appointed justices on the nine-member court.

What's Katherine Greifeld thinking about? The Bloomberg ETF and markets reporter says U.S. government bond investors are taking stay-at-home guidelines to a new level. Domestic buyers are more important than ever, with the Treasury on track to sell an unprecedented sum of almost $5 trillion in new debt this year. American money-market funds have bought the bulk of the roughly $2.2 trillion worth of bills issued so far. That's in contrast to the Fed, which has concentrated its purchases in longer maturities. Robust domestic demand may come in handy as China, the second-largest foreign holder of Treasuries, has been shrinking its pile over the past few years, while international demand at auctions has plateaued.

What you'll need to know tomorrow

What you'll want to read tonight in Businessweek

The No-Concerts, No-Sports Guide to Culture

So you want to stay home, but you're running out of ways to entertain yourself. You've already watched The Office and The Wire for the third time, and your kids know all the words to every song in Frozen 2. What are the socially distanced supposed to do for the rest of the year? There's no live music until 2021. Movie theaters have pushed back reopenings. Sports leagues say full speed ahead, but can you really bet on that? More than likely, you're looking at another several months with a limited set of entertainment options. Bloomberg has compiled a list of 27 new TV shows, video games, audiobooks, albums, and virtual events to help you and your family ride out the remainder via the safety of a screen.

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