GOP drops $1 trillion stimulus plan

QuickTake
Bloomberg

Greetings, QuickTake readers! In this edition: John Lewis becomes the first Black legislator to lie in state, the biggest virus vaccine test begins, and why the pandemic is pushing global hunger to the limit.

GOP drops $1 trillion virus plan

Senate Republicans rolled out their $1-trillion coronavirus stimulus package Monday in a series of bills that would trim jobless benefits from $600 to $200 per week and send $1,200 payments to most Americans.

"We have one foot in the pandemic and one foot in the recovery," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. "The American people need more help, they need it to be comprehensive, and they need it to be carefully tailored to this crossroads."

The GOP proposal also shields businesses, schools, and organizations from lawsuits stemming from virus infections and includes at least $100 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses.

The proposal's release is just the first step toward negotiating a compromise plan with Democrats, who've offered their own $3.5-trillion package that extends the $600 weekly benefits until January.

But Congress has little time to act before that and other parts of the CARES Act dry up. Lawmakers are set to leave in two weeks for a break and will face a timetable compressed by the November election when they return in September.

More:

  • While many congressional Republicans argue that people work less when receiving $600 a week in unemployment insurance, a new Yale University study finds no evidence of that happening.

$ignificant figures

30,000. About that many Americans got shots on Monday in the biggest test yet of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine, made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna. Results won't trickle in for months.

61. China reported the biggest spike in coronavirus infections on Monday since the end of the Wuhan outbreak. Meanwhile, Hong Kong will ban all dining-in services and gatherings of more than two people on Wednesday.

423,855. Florida passed New York as the U.S. state with the most cases except for California, which has a total of 448,497 cases, based on health department data published over the weekend.

Highly quotable

"History bent toward what's right because he paid the price." Rep. John Lewis became the first Black legislator to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol in a ceremony that honored him as "the conscience of Congress."

"No risk of exposure to the president." National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has Covid-19, the White House said. He's the highest-ranking U.S. official to test positive so far and may have gotten it from his daughter.

"Nothing can replace authentic representation." 30 years after the ADA was signed into law, Octavia Spencer urged Hollywood to cast more actors with disabilities, saying hiring able-bodied people in those roles is "unjust." 

This is not normal

Over the edge. 10,000 more children a month—with a projected total of 128,000 this year—are dying from hunger due to virus restrictions that have cut off hospitals and crop harvests in the poorest areas of the world.

The future is now

Florence is the machine. The WHO unveiled Florence, its first digital health avatar, created to warn the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users about the dangers of smoking and combat misinformation about the coronavirus.

What's good

Pedaling lessons. After Covid-19 shut Guatemala's schools, teacher Gerardo Ixcoy bought a secondhand tricycle and installed virus barriers, a whiteboard and a solar-powered speaker, to use as a roving classroom.

Now that you're caught up... Tell your friends to sign up to receive our newsletter five days a week. Follow QuickTake on Twitter , YouTube , Instagram, and Facebook .

BTW: The first cat in the U.K. has tested positive for coronavirus after apparently catching the disease from its owners. Watch.

Thanks for reading!
-Andrew Mach

 

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