Coronavirus Information: What Happened Today

  • The White House is expected to announce that all Americans should wear cloth masks if they go out in public.

  • More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, doubling the record set a week earlier.

  • The Democratic National Convention has been postponed until mid-August.

  • Get the latest updates here, plus maps and full coverage

American employers are laying off workers at an unprecedented time when the coronavirus outbreak plunges the economy into a deep freeze. Some 6.6 million people filed new unemployment insurance claims last week, nearly 20 times the count for a typical week.

Experts say the number should be even higher, but some state unemployment systems were so flooded that people couldn't file a claim. The March monthly employment report, due for release on Friday, is also likely to be ugly.

This will be a recession like no other in memory. Recessions generally start with a financial or economic crisis that encourages consumers to cut back on spending; Large job losses occur over time as private income companies cut payrolls or close their doors. But with this one, layoffs are coming from the start, due to orders to stay home and trade restrictions.

And it will be the virus, not economic forces, that will determine when a recovery can begin. No one yet knows what that recovery will be like or how long it will take.

Ron Lieber, the columnist for "Your Money,quot; for The Times, spoke to us about the impact of large job losses. Here are excerpts from the conversation.

What is the first thing someone fired must do?

Apply for unemployment, and you should keep trying. The new legislation allows an extra $ 600 per week of assistance, and that extra money may be enough to make the difference between a financial disaster and near-financial calamity. And that's why Congress offered it.

What do you say to people who have a hard time processing all of this?

It is unlike anything we've ever seen before. Trying to plan or make predictions is really difficult, and telling people to accept that uncertainty is not really helpful. I think it is best to speak to as many people as possible who have the same uncertainty as you.

Does the US economy USA Will you recover from where you were before or expect lasting changes?

If we continue to believe that capitalism and the market economy are the correct way to structure our country, then there should probably be at least some way in which our economic activity returns to a certain level of normality. I wouldn't believe anyone who is trying to predict when that will be.

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The coronavirus outbreak is wreaking havoc on the political calendar. Fifteen states and one territory postponed their primaries or went to vote by mail with longer terms. And the national Democratic convention in Milwaukee, where the party formally selects its presidential candidate, was delayed by a month until mid-August, a week before the Republican convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

And then there is Wisconsin, which is advancing with its primaries next Tuesday, despite concerns about voting in person during a pandemic.

Perhaps the most at risk on Election Day are state poll workers, who tend to be older and have health conditions that make them vulnerable, according to Nick Corasaniti of The Times, who interviewed Wisconsin poll workers.

"Almost everyone I spoke to was in conflict with the risks, and many simply said, 'You know what, it's not worth it. I can't show up, "said Nick." I spoke to three who were over 70, and heartbroken because they couldn't be there. But they said they simply couldn't put themselves at risk. "

The main one is to force Wisconsin residents to decide between public health and the right to vote, Nick said. A chief inspector told him: "Being complicit in putting public security at risk seems like a greater fault than having to disappoint democracy."


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