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Virus review: Progress 'long ways away' as urgency grows on relief, US nears 5 million cases
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Virus review: Progress 'long ways away' as urgency grows on relief, US nears 5 million cases

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Frustrated Senate Republicans re-upped their complaints on Tuesday that Democratic negotiators are staking too hard a line in talks on a sweeping coronavirus relief bill, but pressure is mounting for progress as COVID-weary senators are eager to return to their home states for the August recess.

Another negotiating session is underway.

“Secretary Mnuchin is prepared to make a few proposals that hopefully will be met with enthusiasm, and yet we’re a long ways away from, from striking any kind of a deal," said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

One glimmer of hope emerged as a key Senate Republican telegraphed that the party may yield to Democrats on an increase in the food stamp benefit as part of the huge rescue measure, which promises to far exceed a $1 trillion target set by the GOP.

Many Americans have resisted wearing masks and social distancing, calling such precautions an overreaction or an infringement on their liberty. Public health experts say the problem has been compounded by confusing and inconsistent guidance from politicians and a patchwork quilt of approaches to containing the scourge by county, state and federal governments.

Confirmed infections in the U.S. have topped 4.7 million, with new cases running at more than 60,000 a day. While that's down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are on the rise in 26 states, many in the South and West, and deaths are climbing in 35 states.

In other developments:

As the pandemic drags into the new school year, it is wreaking havoc on reopening plans and the back-to-school shopping season, the second most important period for retailers behind the holidays.

In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves grudgingly reversed course and announced a statewide order requiring the wearing of masks because of a resurgence of the virus. He also delayed the start of the school year for upper grades in eight hard-hit counties.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, who tested positive for the coronavirus, returned to work Tuesday after recovering from a mild case of COVID-19, the White House said.

Health experts once thought 2020 might be the worst year yet for a rare paralyzing disease that has been hitting U.S. children for the past decade. But they now say the coronavirus pandemic could disrupt the pattern for the mysterious illnesses, which spike every other year starting in late summer.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will skip the U.S. Open because of the coronavirus pandemic, putting on hold his bid to equal Roger Federer’s men’s record for Grand Slam titles.

Minnesota star wide receiver Rashod Bateman will pass on a 2020 college football season that has been complicated — and threatened — by the pandemic. Widely projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick, Bateman is among a few who have decided not to risk their health this season.


Virus by the numbers

Infographic: How Americans Used Their Stimulus Checks | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

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