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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The five-week total for jobless claims passed 26 million, after another 4.4 million people filed claims last week. One international economist called the figures “eye-watering.”
The economic crisis has intensified the debate over whether to start lifting coronavirus restrictions and get Americans back to work. And it has raised worries about the full scope of the numbers, amid states’ lags in handling the claims. Above, an unemployment office in Fayetteville, Ark.
In Florida, that is especially true. Our reporters looked at what being fired is like in one of the slowest states to process jobless claims.
2. The House passed a nearly $500 billion federal stimulus plan to revive a depleted small business loan program. President Trump is expected to sign it quickly.
The latest round of aid will also give more funding to hospitals and testing. It does not include money for state governments, something the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, made clear he did not want. He even suggested states should be allowed to file for bankruptcy. Above, Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for the votes.
The House also voted today to create a special committee to investigate the Trump administration’s pandemic response and its spending of federal aid packages.
3. One of every five New York City residents who were tested for antibodies to the new coronavirus was positive. Above, a testing site in Brooklyn this week.
The preliminary test results, made public by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, could mean that the virus spread far more widely than is known. It also raises the prospect that many New Yorkers who never knew they were infected — up to 2.7 million, according to Mr. Cuomo — have already encountered the virus and survived.
The city’s top official for disease control warned that the results were not reliable, and that there is not enough research about immunity in coronavirus survivors.
In other developments:
By the time the U.S. confirmed early cases of the virus, thousands of infections had invisibly spread in several major cities, new research suggests.
Nearly all hospitalized Covid-19 patients had at least one chronic health issue, according to a study of thousands of New York patients, and nearly 88 percent had at least two.
4. “Let us not squander what we have achieved.”
That was Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to the governors of Germany’s 16 states. She warned that loosening coronavirus lockdown rules without extreme caution could result in a surge of new cases. The government is allowing some schools and small stores to reopen on Monday.
“Nobody wants to hear this, but the truth is that we are not living in the final phase of this pandemic, but at the beginning,” she said.
Much of Europe is looking across the Atlantic at the U.S. with disbelief at its handling of the pandemic, our Berlin bureau chief writes. Rather than American exceptionalism, America “has done exceptionally badly,” one political scientist said.
5. Ramadan Kareem!
Muslims observing the holy month might be missing the daily rituals and “beautiful chaos of a community in constant motion,” writes Wajahat Ali in our Opinion section. Above, a man prayed in Istanbul on Wednesday.
But this year, staying at home and trying your best might just be enough. “It won’t be heroic or extraordinary, but during these challenging times, it will be enough,” he writes.
In Pakistan, Muslims are allowed to go to mosques if they follow strict rules and keep a distance. But the government’s giving in to clerics has critics worrying about who is in charge during the country’s crisis.
6. No pools, no day camps, no summer school.
That’s what the summer looks like for New York City’s 1.1 million students, who are used to spending the summer at pools, beaches and parks, or in cultural or job programs.
The collapse of the city’s summer offerings because of the coronavirus means a lot more boredom and continued suffering for New York’s children — especially for poor and homeless children and students with disabilities.
In our new Quarantine Diaries series, we paid a virtual visit to a family of eight in their three-bedroom apartment in the South Bronx.
7. Climate projects in a host of American cities are on pause for the coronavirus.
Sea walls in San Francisco, Miami Beach, above, and New York City are facing delays. Officials across the country are pressured to turn their focuses to the virus, redirecting money away from infrastructure projects that will have long-term effects. It risks tackling one crisis at the expense of another.
“Natural disasters won’t wait until this pandemic has run its course,” one flood-preparedness expert said.
And if you’ve been keeping up with our Earth Day coverage for the holiday’s 50th anniversary, join us for a live video call on Friday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern with our climate journalist John Schwartz as he speaks with the first organizer of Earth Day and young climate leaders.
8. The N.F.L. draft starts tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, and it will be a throwback to simpler times.
Instead of a flashy event held on The Strip in Las Vegas for some 50,000 fans, it will be a purely televised draft with players participating remotely. As in recent years, quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, above, and wide receivers are expected to take center stage. Here’s how to watch and what to expect.
Toby Gerhart, a former N.F.L. running back, reflected on a draft day five years ago that began the end of his 22-year career. He shares lessons he learned for athletes who have had their dreams spoiled by the pandemic this year.
9. There are Yankees fans, above, and there are Red Sox fans, and neither the two shall mix. Nor will their pigeons.
At the genomic level, a new study finds, there are two giant interconnected groupings of pigeons that breed with one another, one in New England and one south of Connecticut to Virginia. Connecticut is the boundary between them: Think of them as two pigeon genetic megacities.
In other animal news, a team of researchers found the first frog fossil from Antarctica, raising the possibility that frogs from warmer climates in South America moved through Antarctica.
10. And finally, songs of hope.
Hospitals around the New York area have adopted anthems like the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind” or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to celebrate patients’ victories in the battle against the coronavirus.
The victories differ — from getting off life support or a ventilator to being discharged — but the purpose is the same: an anthem of affirmation for the medical professionals and a tribute to the resilience of the patients.
Hope you find something to sing about tonight.
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