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Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday called for Congress to “act with a fierce sense of urgency” and pass a new round of coronavirus relief legislation in light of a newly released report on the pandemic’s expected economic impact.

The report by the Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. gross domestic product will lose nearly $16 trillion over the next decade because of the pandemic.

Meantime, U.S. public health officials are warning that the massive countrywide demonstrations against police brutality, which show no sign of abating, could be followed by a sudden increase in novel coronavirus cases. Black people have been affected by the virus at higher rates than other demographics, and they are among those out in force protesting.

Here are some significant developments:

  • A nationwide Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that despite the shared disruption of their daily lives since stay-at-home orders began, partisans differ sharply on how the country should move forward. Eighty-one percent of Democrats say trying to control the spread of the coronavirus is most important right now, while 66 percent of Republicans say restarting the economy is more important.
  • More than 25,000 elderly residents died and 60,000 were infected as the virus swept through U.S. nursing homes in recent months, particularly affecting facilities with a history of low marks for staffing and patient care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced.
  • Stocks began June with a pop Monday as investors looked past weekend protests, growing U.S.-China tensions and the coronavirus, putting the Standard & Poor’s 500 index on track for its best quarter since December 1998.
  • World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the United States’s “immense” commitment to global health, and said he hopes collaboration continues. The remarks came after President Trump announced Friday that the United States would be “terminating” its our relationship with the WHO.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Which states are reopening | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

June 1, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT

Members of Congress to unveil bipartisan bill to regulate contact-tracing apps

Senate lawmakers plan to unveil a bipartisan bill that would regulate contact-tracing and exposure-notification apps, seeking to ensure new digital tools meant to combat the coronavirus don’t come at the expense of users’ privacy.

The proposal, called the “Exposure Notification Privacy Act,” would erect federal guardrails around Silicon Valley’s nascent efforts to track people’s movements and alert them whenever they come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for covid-19. Democrats and Republicans led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) say the legislation is necessary to ensure tracking isn’t forced on those who don’t want it — and to ensure any data that’s collected isn’t put to commercial use.

“The important thing we wanted to get done, as people started to look at this, is make sure the privacy protections are in place,” said Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees tech issues.

Read more here.

By Tony Romm
June 1, 2020 at 10:36 PM EDT

Major League Baseball’s proposal for shortened season is a step toward deal with union

The latest concept for the potential structure of the pandemic-delayed Major League Baseball season — a regular season of around 50 to 60 games with prorated salaries for players, an idea floated by MLB on Monday — by itself had little chance of ending the stalemate between MLB and its players’ union over the economics of a shortened season.

But that concept, combined with the union’s formal proposal for a 114-game season, delivered via video conference Sunday, represented the most optimistic signs in weeks that the sport could find a way back to the field this summer.

By Dave Sheinin
June 1, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT

Experts dispute reports that coronavirus is becoming less lethal

Has the novel coronavirus in Italy changed in some significant way? That was the suggestion of a top doctor in northern Italy who reports that patients to his hospital have been showing up with lower levels of the virus in their upper respiratory tracts compared with those of two months ago.

Alberto Zangrillo, head of San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, roiled the global public health community Sunday when he told RAI, the national TV station, that “the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” with patients showing minute amounts of it in nasal swabs.

The comments, which received widespread attention following a Reuters report, prompted vigorous pushback from Michael Ryan, a top official with the World Health Organization, who said Monday during an online news conference that “we need to be exceptionally careful not to create a sense that all of a sudden, the virus by its own volition has now decided to be less pathogenic. That is not the case at all.”

By Joel Achenbach, Chelsea Janes, Mark Guarino and Ariana Eunjung Cha
June 1, 2020 at 9:31 PM EDT

Return-to-play discussions take different tone for NBA and Adam Silver

This biggest names in basketball — from Michael Jordan to LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Doc Rivers — have turned their attention to the nationwide protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has spent months plotting the league’s course in response to the coronavirus pandemic, told staffers in a memo that he was watching, too.

“Just as we are fighting a pandemic, which is impacting communities and people of color more than anyone else, we are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” Silver wrote Sunday. “Racism, police brutality and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored.”

There is chaos across the nation, with cities under curfew to prevent more destruction and protesters clashing with police. For Silver, who held calls last week with the NBA’s general managers and governors to talk through return-to-play scenarios, an impossible job just got that much more difficult.

His central task in recent months has been to craft a feasible framework to resume play, turning the NBA’s financial machine back on while doing what he can to protect the league’s coaches, players and staffers from exposure to a deadly virus. Now, Silver must plunge forward in a climate where many of those same people are voicing outrage and anxiety about their safety and place in society.

By Ben Golliver
June 1, 2020 at 8:44 PM EDT

Hollywood group creates guidelines for return of entertainment industry

A task force of top Hollywood companies has constructed a 22-page set of safety guidelines and measures to help the industry return after being put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal was sent to New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday, according to Deadline.

The guidelines were produced to give recommendations to local governments in an effort to resume production as states slowly reopen. Many states have classified different businesses at different levels to open in a phased approach.

The detailed measures include addressing infection control, health and safety of cast and crew, physical distancing, training and education and production-specific issues. One suggestion is the creation of an on-site autonomous coronavirus compliance officer, available during all working hours.

“Covid-19 safety plan oversight and enforcement shall be the principal responsibilities of the covid-19 compliance officer(s), provided they may be assigned additional responsibilities related to workplace safety,” according to the proposal.

The guidelines detail procedures for props, costumes, accessories, wigs, personal equipment, vehicles, paper and food and beverage.

“These guiding principles may evolve over time,” the proposal reads. “In addition to the recommendations … the unions, guilds and employers have acknowledged the need to develop department-specific operational protocols and project-specific workflows, which will be subject to further discussion and agreement between the employers and the respective unions and guilds representing the cast and crew. All have agreed to develop those protocols and workflows separately once government authorizes production to resume.”

The participating companies were Amazon Studios, Apple Studios, CBS Studios, Columbia Pictures, Disney Television, Fox Corporation, HBO, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Bros.

By Kareem Copeland
June 1, 2020 at 8:43 PM EDT

Pandemic could give Democrats easier way to repeal major Trump EPA rules

If Democrats win big in the November election, they may have an unusual way of quickly repealing some important Trump administration environmental rollbacks. That’s because the coronavirus pandemic has upended the schedule in Congress.

An obscure tool may be available to Democrats who have pledged to bring back vehicle and water pollution rules undone by President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, since the viral outbreak has drastically altered the congressional calendar.

Restoring Obama-era pollution protections is one of former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s biggest campaign promises when it comes to addressing climate change and cleaning up the environment.

Read more about how and why rules could be repealed in The Energy 202.

By Dino Grandoni and Paulina Firozi
June 1, 2020 at 8:13 PM EDT

Fishing vessel returns to Seattle after more than half of crew tests positive

A fishing vessel returned to Seattle after 85 of 126 crew members tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company that owns the trawler announced Monday.

The ship, American Dynasty, is under lockdown, and the crew is quarantined and being monitored by medical personnel, American Seafoods Co. said. Results are pending on nine tests.

The Seattle Times was first to report the story.

Chief executive Mikel Durham said all crew members were screened and tested for the virus before they boarded the vessel three weeks ago. “Only those who tested negative for the virus were cleared to board the vessel,” the company said.

However, one crew member felt sick last week while the ship was docked in Bellingham, Wash., prompting additional tests on employees, none of whom had symptoms. The results came back Saturday while the vessel was at sea.

Durham said the company is cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard and Centers for Disease Control, as well as local health departments.

By Steven Goff
June 1, 2020 at 7:50 PM EDT

Stimulus prepaid debit cards are causing confusion

The good news is that many people have the right amount of skepticism about receiving unsolicited mail. The bad is that some folks may have trashed a mailing that contained their stimulus payment thinking it was just a scam or junk mail.

But what they received was a prepaid debit card loaded with the economic impact payments to individuals made available under the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Cares) Act.

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

Get answers about the debit cards in Michelle’s FAQ.

By Michelle Singletary
June 1, 2020 at 7:39 PM EDT

Coronavirus fallout will cost U.S. economy $8 trillion through 2030, CBO says

Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will shrink the size of the U.S. economy by roughly $8 trillion over the next decade, according to new projections released by the Congressional Budget Office on Monday.

In a letter to U.S. lawmakers, the CBO said the U.S. economy will grow by $7.9 trillion less from 2020 to 2030 than it had projected in January. That amounts to a 3 percent decline in gross domestic product compared with its initial estimate.

The stark illustration of the pandemic’s potential economic impact comes one week after White House officials confirmed they would not release their own updated projections this summer in their annual “mid-session” budget review.

The pandemic will hamper U.S. economic growth by reducing the amount of consumer spending and closing numerous businesses, the CBO said. Part of the impact will be mitigated by the more than $2 trillion the federal government has already approved in emergency spending for households and businesses.

By Jeff Stein
June 1, 2020 at 7:31 PM EDT

At least 26,000 nursing home residents died during pandemic, report shows

At least 26,000 elderly residents died and more than 60,000 were sickened as the unrelenting novel coronavirus swept America’s nursing homes in recent months, particularly those with a history of violating federal standards meant to control the spread of infections, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced late Monday.

The numbers represent the first official national accounting of fatalities in the 15,000 nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. The tally, however, is incomplete. About 20 percent of the nation’s nursing homes did not report required case and death data to the federal government, which began collecting the information last month.

Of those that reported, 1 in 5 saw at least one death from covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 1 in 4 had at least one positive case.

By Peter Whoriskey and Debbie Cenziper
June 1, 2020 at 6:31 PM EDT

Mexico lifts coronavirus lockdown with contradictory measures

MEXICO CITY — Mexico on Monday lifted a 70-day coronavirus lockdown, but the federal and local governments replaced it with a contradictory patchwork of measures as the country struggles to contain the outbreak.

The nation’s coronavirus czar, Hugo López-Gatell, took a hard line, saying that federal guidelines on opening businesses would barely budge. Only a few industries — construction, auto manufacturing and mining — would be added to the list of “essential” businesses allowed to operate, he said.

But several governors defied the federal government’s orders, allowing shops and hotels in their states to open at least partially. Meanwhile, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador resumed his travel around the country with a visit to the Caribbean coast.

By Mary Beth Sheridan
June 1, 2020 at 5:54 PM EDT

As England reopens schools, many remain wary

LONDON — Hundreds of thousands of children returned to school Monday as Britain began easing its coronavirus restrictions. But there was a strong current of resistance: Many schools remained closed, and many parents chose to keep their children home.

The return was encouraged, but not mandatory, for children in England in the equivalent of kindergarten, first grade and sixth grade — identified as “key transition years” by the British government.

In many places within England, local authorities and individual principals chose not to reopen their school doors this week.

The British government says that it is easing restrictions cautiously and following the science. Over the weekend, however, several of the government’s scientific advisers warned that England could be lifting the restrictions too quickly.

By Karla Adam
June 1, 2020 at 5:22 PM EDT

U.S. stocks trudge forward, posting across-the-board gains

Stocks began June with a pop Monday as investors looked past weekend protests, growing U.S.-China tensions and the coronavirus pandemic, putting the Standard & Poor’s 500 index on track for its best quarter since December 1998.

“The rebound continues despite civil unrest and despite the threat that the U.S. and China disagreement will escalate into a full-blown trade war,” said Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Shares of cruise lines, airlines and hotels did well as investors bet that sectors hard hit by the coronavirus recession will revive as the economy continues to emerge from hibernation. The S&P 500 closed Monday at 3,055.73, up 0.4 percent. It is up 18 percent this quarter, which ends June 30. Utilities and real estate, considered safe harbors in times of uncertainty, helped lead the broad market.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 92 points, or 0.4 percent, to settle at 25,475.02. Financial and energy sectors had a good day, led by Boeing, Travelers, ExxonMobil and American Express. The tech-centric Nasdaq jumped 0.7 percent, to 9,552.05.

Stocks entered June on a roll, notching healthy gains two months in a row. The Nasdaq is positive for the year. The Dow and S&P 500 are up more than 30 percent from their March depths and within striking distance of turning positive for 2020.

Oil prices continued to climb Monday following their 88.3 percent spurt in May — their biggest percentage boost in history. West Texas Intermediate inched up 0.2 percent, to $35.56 per barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained nearly 2 percent to $38.55 per barrel.

By Thomas Heath
June 1, 2020 at 5:16 PM EDT

Michigan lifts stay-at-home order, loosens business restrictions

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Monday lifted the state’s stay-at-home order and will allow additional businesses to reopen within seven days.

Retailers will be permitted to open their doors Thursday, and restaurants and bars will be able to serve customers on-site starting next Monday. Both will face capacity limits.

Effective immediately, up to 100 people will be allowed to gather outdoors, though with distancing. Restrictions on indoor gatherings remain in place, with no more than 10 people permitted. Public swimming pools and day camps can open next Monday.

Face masks are still required in enclosed public spaces, and the state is encouraging people to work from home.

“The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase … but we owe it to our brave front-line heroes to get this right,” said Whitmer, who has received favorable reviews from residents about her pandemic response but also faced criticism from armed protesters at the State Capitol.

“We must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing. … If we all do our part, our goal is to announce a shift to Phase 5 for the entire state prior to the Fourth of July.”

By Steven Goff