Covid-19 Live Updates – The New York Times


Mnuchin and Pelosi say they are ready to try again for an economic stimulus measure.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had agreed to resume talks on a new economic relief package.

“I’ve probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 or 20 times in the last few days on the C.R.,” said Mr. Mnuchin, referring to a continuing resolution to extend government funding. “And we’ve agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act.”

The Treasury secretary’s comments, made at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, came as jobless claims rose to 825,000 and stock markets remained volatile.

Ms. Pelosi, too, said Thursday that she expected to return to the negotiating table with Mr. Mnuchin — “hopefully soon.”

“I’m talking with my caucus, my leadership, and we’ll see what we’re going to do,” she told reporters. “But we’re ready for a negotiation. That’s what we’re ready for.”

Still, it remained far from clear that Republican and Democratic negotiators would be able to reach a deal.

At the hearing, Mr. Mnuchin criticized Democrats for making talks conditional on an agreement for a broad measure that would cost more than $2 trillion. He suggested that both sides work toward passing narrower legislation aimed at those ares on which they agree.

Despite that, top Democrats continued working Thursday to put together a $2.4 trillion package.

In an early look at fall enrollment, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported Thursday that undergraduate enrollment in the United States has dropped 2.5 percent from last fall, as the threat of the coronavirus has forced education to move increasingly online and sent unemployment rates soaring.

The decline was particularly sharp for community colleges, where enrollment went down by 7.5 percent from last September, the preliminary data shows. In past economic downturns, community colleges have typically seen enrollment increase.

The overall decline so far is more modest than many education experts had projected. But the survey shows enrollment has fallen at all types of institutions, including private, nonprofit four-year colleges, which report a 3.8 percent drop, and for-profit colleges, where enrollment is down nearly 2 percent, despite intensive marketing.

Public four-year colleges also reported a small overall decline, of less than 1 percent, with the steepest losses — 4 percent — at rural institutions. Public four-year institutions in urban areas were the one undergraduate bright spot, with a very slight gain of one-half of one percent.

International undergraduate enrollment also has dropped, marking an 11 percent decline from last year, reflecting the Trump administration’s heightened scrutiny of those students and the pandemic’s impact on travel.

But the red flag is community colleges, said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of government relations for the American Council on Education, a higher education trade group. The nation’s community college system is where most Black, Latino and low-income students enter the higher education system — members of groups that all have been disproportionately hit by the virus.

“In the 2009 recession, community college enrollment rose by more than one million students,” Mr. Hartle said. “Under normal circumstances, we’d expect community college enrollment to go up. Clearly these are not normal times.”

Doug Shapiro, the executive director of the research center, a nonprofit organization that studies enrollment trends, cautioned that the survey reflects data from only 138 of the nation’s approximately 5,000 colleges. The center expects many more to report data in its October report.

Cuomo is forming a panel to review federally authorized vaccines, citing concerns the process has become politicized.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday that New York would review coronavirus vaccines that are approved by the federal government, giving the state a potentially contentious new role in the process a day after President Trump raised doubts about tougher F.D.A. guidelines.

“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers, based on the federal government’s opinion,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news briefing.

New York officials do not play a role in the approval process for a possible vaccine, but under the current plan they would help determine how it would be distributed throughout the state. In theory, officials could delay such distribution if they believed the vaccine was not safe.

Officials in the state and in New York City have said that for months they have been discussing a vaccine rollout plan.

The governor’s remarks, which echoed earlier calls for state oversight of any vaccine, threatened to further complicate a vaccine process that has become mired in political debate and for months has faced mistrust from the American public.

Mr. Cuomo said that he was…



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