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You’ve almost made it to a long Labor Day weekend! Enjoy yourself, protect your health and stay cool: More than 50 million people will be under extreme heat alerts this holiday. We’ll see you again next Tuesday.
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There are now more than 1 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide, but some fear that reporting issues and the presence of asymptomatic cases could mean the number is actually much, much higher. In the US, doctors on the White House’s coronavirus task force say the numbers show some Americans aren’t adhering to national guidelines about washing hands and staying home. So far, 6,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US, and officials have long warned that number could climb exponentially higher if precautions aren’t taken. Japan is facing a similar problem, as citizens shirk stay-at-home recommendations to commute to work. China is opening back up, and starting next week people will be able to leave Wuhan, the city where the virus originated. However, citizens are concerned that the country’s oft-questioned reporting and response methods may not prevent another wave of cases. Follow here for the latest.
2. Election 2020
The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first antibody test that looks for a coronavirus response in blood. The test can’t identify fresh cases of the virus but could help doctors understand how prevalent it is by identifying past cases that had few or no symptoms. Meanwhile, experts have told the White House the coronavirus may be spread via talking or even breathing, as opposed to just sneezing or coughing. Such a development could accelerate the government’s plan to recommend face masks for public use. Speaking of equipment, President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act, a wartime law that lets the government direct industrial production. In this case, it will be used to supply more ventilators and N95 masks to medical professionals.
The European Commission has proposed a new $109 billion relief initiative to support the millions of Europeans left without a job because of the coronavirus crisis. The program would encourage employers in member states to reduce employees’ hours instead of laying them off. The EU’s 27 members still need to vote on the measure. EU countries already have contributed billions of dollars to buoy business and workers, and Europe’s central bank has promised hundreds of billions more. Meanwhile, oil prices, which have been at historic lows, spiked as President Trump suggested massive production cuts and Saudi Arabia called for an emergency OPEC meeting to stabilize the market. That meeting will happen Monday and could signal a truce in the brutal oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia that’s dragged down the market.