Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Top Republicans met with Trump to smooth the way for their relief package.

The two top congressional Republicans met with President Trump at the White House on Monday morning in an attempt to smooth over differences with the administration about what should be in the next round of federal coronavirus relief.

The meeting, which included Mr. Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California and Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, came after the administration moved over the weekend to block billions of dollars that Republicans had included in their draft proposal. The money had been allocated for testing and tracing efforts across the country, and to fund federal health agencies on the front lines of the virus. The move infuriated Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Mr. McConnell had planned to unveil his opening offer in the coming days, before entering what is expected to be a grueling set of negotiations with Democrats over the wide-ranging pandemic aid bill.

The focus of the plan, Mr. Mnuchin said, would be on “kids and jobs and vaccines.”

“We want to make sure that people who can go to work safely can do, so we’ll have tax credits that incentivize businesses to bring people back to work,” he told reporters at the White House.

The two parties remain far apart on a number of critical issues that need to be resolved before August: expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans that are set to expire at the end of the month, additional funding for state and local governments, money for schools and liability protections for workers and businesses that remain open during the pandemic. The Republican offer is likely to be a package of about $1 trillion.

Mr. McConnell said on Monday that they will begin “socializing” the discussion among Republicans on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, when Mr. Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, will attend a weekly lunch with Republicans.

Democrats say their starting point remains a far more expansive $3 trillion package than the House approved in May, and they are signaling that they are willing to block the Republicans’ bill if they consider it insufficient to meet the country’s needs. Their proposal would send aid to state and local governments and provide another round of direct $1,200 payments to taxpayers.

But the Democratic proposal lacks many of the special provisions that various interest groups — including the travel and hospitality industries, as well as military contractors and banks — are pushing for, leaving them to focus now on the Senate and any bipartisan negotiations between the two chambers and the White House.

Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Meadows are also expected to huddle with top Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee later Monday to begin hammering out specifics for the next package.

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On July 19

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Potential vaccines from Oxford and a Chinese company have triggered immune responses, studies find.

Two potential vaccines against the virus from Oxford University and the Chinese company CanSino have triggered immune responses in hundreds of humans without dangerous side effects, according two studies published on Monday in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

Although short of proving efficacy at preventing infection, the results are the most promising indication yet of progress toward a vaccine that could end the pandemic.

A third potential vaccine, from the American biotechnology company Moderna, has also elicited immune responses in 45 people who have received it, according to a study released last week.

All three potential vaccines are now moving into larger tests, known as Phase III trials, aiming to show their effectiveness at preventing the diseases.

The Oxford vaccine, which is being produced in partnership with the British-Swiss drug giant AstraZeneca, is already in large Phase III tests in Britain, Brazil and South Africa. Another Phase III test involving 30,000 participants in the United States is set to begin next week, along with a parallel test of the Moderna vaccine. The CanSino vaccine has also passed safety tests and is heading for an efficacy trial in Brazil.

Exactly when any of those tests might deliver results remains hazy.

“Seeing these responses means that people should be optimistic that this vaccine will be useful,” said Prof. Adrian Hill of Oxford, one of scientists developing the vaccine. “But there is no guarantee until you have shown efficacy in humans because you can’t know what you don’t know.”

In the first three months of the pandemic, millions of Americans signed up for food stamps.

Credit…Charlotte Kesl for The New York Times

Joseph Baker, 48, a firearms instructor laid off from an Orlando pawnshop and firing range, exhausted his savings and watched his shelves dwindle as he waited two months for unemployment aid. But when Mr. Baker, a single father raising two big-eating teenagers, turned to food stamps, they arrived in a week — a safety net beneath the safety net.

“Oh my God, dude, I didn’t have to worry about whether I can feed my kids,” Mr. Baker said, recalling his relief. “I don’t want to be dramatic and say it saved my life, but it saved my mental life, ’cause I was stressed out, man.”

Mr. Baker is one of the more than six million people who enrolled in food stamps in the first three months of the pandemic, an unprecedented expansion that is likely to continue as jobless people deplete their savings and billions in unemployment aid expires this month.

From February to May, the program grew by 17 percent — about three times faster than in any previous three months, according to state data collected by The New York Times. That is testament both to the hardship of the times and the importance of the program.

Among the 42 states for which The Times collected data, caseloads grew in all but one. The rolls have surged across Appalachian hamlets, urban cores like Miami and Detroit, and white-picket-fence suburbs outside Atlanta and Houston.

And they rose faster in rich counties than in poor ones, as the downturn caused by the virus claimed the restaurant, cleaning and gig economy jobs.

Food stamps — formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — support young and old, healthy and disabled, the working and the unemployed. That makes them the closest thing the United States has to a guaranteed income.

Thirty states have experienced double-digit growth, and usage has risen in all 133 counties in the three West Coast states. About 50,000 people have joined the rolls in the county that includes Atlanta, more than 100,000 in the county that includes Detroit and more than 200,000 in those that include Miami and Los Angeles.

Europe thought it was ready. Pride was its downfall.

Credit…Lucas Barioulet/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When European health ministers met in February to discuss the virus emerging in China, they commended their own health systems and promised to send aid to poor and developing countries.

Barely a month later, the continent was overwhelmed. Officials once boastful about their preparedness were frantically trying to secure protective gear and materials for tests, as death rates soared.

This was not supposed to happen. Many European leaders felt so secure after the last pandemic — the 2009 swine flu — that they scaled back stockpiles of equipment and faulted medical experts for overreacting.

But their pandemic plans were built on a litany of miscalculations. Though European leaders boasted of the superiority of their world-class health systems, they had weakened them with a decade of cutbacks.

When Covid-19 arrived, those systems were unable to test widely enough to see the peak coming. National stockpiles of medical supplies were revealed to exist mostly on paper, consisting in large part of “just in time” contracts with manufacturers in China. European planners overlooked the fact that a pandemic could disrupt those supply chains.

Britain most embodies Europe’s overconfidence. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was so certain of his country’s forecasts about the virus, records and testimony show, that he delayed locking down until two weeks after British emergency rooms began to buckle under the strain.

With the number of infections doubling every three days at the time, some scientists now say that locking down a week sooner might have saved 30,000 lives.

Look at the U.S response to the pandemic, in two charts.

In a confrontational interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News on Sunday, Mr. Trump defended his handling of the virus with misleading evidence and attacked his own health experts, calling Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, an “alarmist” who provided faulty information in the early days of the pandemic.

In today’s edition of the Morning newsletter, David Leonhardt offered an overview of the U.S. response to the virus and how it compares to that of other countries. He writes:

The virus has still been deadlier in several European countries than in the U.S., after adjusting for population. But the total death rate in the U.S. is among the worst for any country in the world:

Credit…By The New York Times | Source: Johns Hopkins University

And the U.S. may continue to climb this ranking. Most high-income countries now have a relatively small number of new cases and deaths each day, while the U.S. does not:

Credit…By The New York Times | Source: Johns Hopkins University

The U.S. is conducting a large number of tests — but that isn’t why the virus statistics look so much worse here. According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has now conducted more tests per capita than any other country.

That high test rate obviously leads to a greater number of official cases. If some other countries with major outbreaks, like Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria, were conducting more tests, they would likely be reporting many more cases. Some would probably show worse per capita outbreaks than the U.S.

But the U.S. is still an outlier, especially among rich countries. A higher percentage of its tests are coming back positive than in many other countries, and the death toll continues to mount, which are both signs that the main issue in the U.S. is a failure to control the virus.

There have been 14.4 million coronavirus cases around the world, and at least 605,000 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

Delta says passengers who are unable to wear masks will face a health screening.

Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Delta Air Lines said it would require passengers unable to wear face masks because of health conditions to undergo a medical clearance at the airport before boarding — or the passengers should “reconsider travel” altogether.

The policy is an addition to Delta’s rules that call on passengers to wear face masks at check-in, boarding gates and during the flight. It follows reports of some passengers on U.S. airlines failing to wear masks onboard and air staff not enforcing them.

“Customers with health conditions or disabilities that explicitly prevent the wearing of a face covering or mask are strongly encouraged to reconsider travel or should be prepared to complete a ‘Clearance-to-Fly’ process,” the statement said.

The screening process will take place before departure at the airport and can exceed an hour, the airline said. Should passengers falsify health claims, the statement said, they risk being barred from the airline until masks are no longer required.

Delta in July is running only 30 percent of its normal flight schedule. The airline has told pilots it will not furlough them for a year if they accept a 15 percent cut to guaranteed pay, according a memo sent to staff on Friday.

A British company says a potential treatment is promising, but scientists urge caution.

A small study of hospitalized virus patients in Britain has identified a promising new treatment for the illness, a Britain-based biotechnology company said on Monday, with initial results showing that an inhaled form of a commonly available drug can reduce the odds of patients requiring intensive care.

But the trial, which sent shares of the company, Synairgen, soaring, caused some consternation among scientists, who demanded to see more detailed data and faulted the company for failing to make clear exactly how helpful the drug was or how long its benefits lasted.

Synairgen said that an inhaled form of interferon beta, a protein that the body produces in response to viral infections, could significantly reduce the odds of patients becoming severely ill and accelerate their recoveries.

Critically, the double-blind trial involved only 101 patients, Synairgen said, and scientists stressed the need for more details about the trial, which has not yet been peer reviewed or published.

“It looks promising,” said Simon Maxwell, a professor of clinical pharmacology and prescribing at the University of Edinburgh. “But the report is of an outcome in a relatively small number of patients, and so it is too early to draw reliable conclusions.”

If the results are confirmed, though, virologists said they would represent significant progress in the monthslong race to find treatments for Covid-19.

The company said that the drug reduced the odds of patients becoming severely ill — needing ventilation, for example, or dying — by 79 percent compared to patients who received a placebo.

Several Chinese companies are using Uighur labor to make masks, a Times visual investigation finds.



Wearing a Mask? It May Come From China’s Controversial Labor Program

Our visual investigation reveals that several Chinese companies are using Uighur labor from a contentious government program to produce P.P.E. during the pandemic. We track some of that equipment to the U.S. and around the world.

If you are one of the millions of people around the world wearing a face mask because of the coronavirus pandemic, this footage may concern you. It shows a group of Uighurs arriving at a textile company that started producing masks in response to the pandemic. The Uighurs are a long-persecuted, largely Muslim ethnic minority. This slickly produced video from Chinese state TV appears to show grateful workers getting ready for their new jobs. But behind this propaganda is a hidden story about a longstanding and highly controversial government labor program that experts say often puts people to work against their will. We reviewed hundreds of videos, photos, government documents and shipping data to reveal how the surging demand for face masks is linked to this problematic program. We identified several Chinese companies that use Uighur labor to produce P.P.E. And we tracked some of their shipments to consumers in the U.S. and around the world. “The rural poor that are being put into factory work are not going by choice. There are these coercive quotas that cause people to be put into factory work when they don’t want to be. And that could be considered forced labor under international law.” This is all driven by supply and demand. Chinese companies have been rushing to produce masks as the pandemic spread across China and the rest of the world. In Xinjiang, where a majority of Uighurs live, only four companies produced medical-grade protective equipment before the pandemic. Now, that number is 51. We found that at least 17 of those participate in the labor transfer program. “Any company that is procuring masks or other personal protective equipment that wants to avoid forced labor content in those products should not be sourcing them from Xinjiang.” Let’s take a closer look at one factory in Xinjiang: the company we showed you earlier, where Uighurs were arriving for their first day. It’s called Tianshan Textile. China proudly promotes the transfer program as a way to reduce poverty. So we are able to follow the workers to their new living quarters at the factory, thanks to reports on state media. It all started here. In mid-March, the government moved almost 2,000 Uighurs from Hotan, in the south of Xinjiang. Their destination is Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital city in the north. Fifty were sent to Tianshan Textile for a very specific task. Tianshan didn’t respond to our request for comment. But it’s a clear example of how Uighur workers are fulfilling the increasing need for P.P.E. Now, let’s look at companies that use the labor program to make products that are shipped to the United States and around the world. We are first going to look at a company called Hubei Haixin. It uses Uighur workers from the labor transfer program. Its factory is located here, almost 2,000 miles away from Hotan, where the Uighur workers were transferred from. We tracked one of Hubei Haixin’s face mask shipments from its port of departure in Shanghai to the United States. It arrived at the port of Los Angeles in late May. Then, the shipment was received by MedWay US, a medical supply company in Suwanee, Ga. Although MedWay US wouldn’t respond to questions from The Times about the origins of their products, we can see they do sell face masks online. Protective gear made by Hubei Haixin is also readily available to U.S. consumers on popular online shopping websites. Images of the Uighurs’ living conditions at the Hubei Haixin factory, proudly broadcast on state media, help explain why the labor transfer program is so controversial. They are required to attend a weekly national flag-raising ceremony to pledge loyalty to China. They also must learn to speak Mandarin. This form of political indoctrination is common, and we see it in even greater detail at another exporting company we identified. This is Medwell Medical Products. According to state media, Uighurs make up over 25 percent of the company’s labor force. Although an employee who answered the phone at Medwell told The Times that they have no workers from Xinjiang, we know there are Uighurs at Medwell’s factory. In satellite imagery, we can clearly see their segregated living quarters. They have an assigned area on the factory grounds. They’re surrounded by government indoctrination and take mandatory Mandarin language classes three times a week. In the government’s view, fluency in Mandarin and skills in factory work are key to assimilating to Chinese society. It’s unclear how many masks Medwell sends abroad. But a Medwell representative openly promoted its robust export business in an interview on state TV. And we found that it’s also shipping to current virus hot spots in Latin America. A Brazilian company called MedTrace received a shipment of face masks from Medwell but told us they were unaware that it uses Uighur workers. The labor transfer program is part of a larger system of repression and mass incarceration. Over one million Uighurs and mostly Muslim minorities have been detained in recent years, some simply for their religious practice. The Chinese Communist Party says its tight control over Xinjiang is necessary to fight what it says is religious extremism. It’s virtually impossible to know who in the transfer program was forced to participate. Speaking out is incredibly risky. And the government is shaping the narrative. “In Xinjiang, it is not a practical possibility at this moment to do effective worker interviews because no worker can be expected, whether onsite or offsite, to feel comfortable speaking candidly and openly with an interviewer, particularly if the matter under discussion is the issue of forced labor, which is the burning issue in Xinjiang from a labor rights standpoint.” But we do know that the transfers are widespread and often coercive. Authorities provide regions with subsidies for each worker that they take in. They also impose quotas on the number of workers that must be transferred. “That puts enormous pressure on those government officials to find those workers. And that increases the risks that those workers are not working willingly.” Those who refuse to work in the program can be penalized. A local government directive from 2018 describes a system that grades workers on their level of cooperation. Those with low scores are subject to more indoctrination, and their movements are restricted. Since 2017, almost three million people per year have been put in the program. The spokesman for China’s embassy in the U.S. told The Times that the rights of Uighur workers are protected and that the measures, quote, “help local residents rise above poverty through employment and lead fulfilling lives.” Earlier this year, an Australian think tank identified 83 major international brands whose supply chains were connected to the Uighur labor transfers, including Nike and Apple. The situation has become so troubling that the U.S. government in July 2020 warned U.S. companies of the risk of forced labor from Xinjiang. And U.S. lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill to restrict imports from the region. “It’s injected forced labor into American and global supply chains.” “We know that many U.S., international and Chinese companies are complicit in the exploitation of forced labor.” But despite the concern, we found that protective gear from problematic supply chains is continuing to make its way into the U.S. and around the world. “Hey, it’s Haley here, one of the reporters on this video. Our team spent months investigating companies in China that use Uighur labor to produce P.P.E., but we only realized how widespread the issue really is when we tracked a shipment of face masks from one of those companies to the U.S. If you want to see more work like this, let us know what we should investigate next, and don’t forget to subscribe for more Visual Investigations.”

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Our visual investigation reveals that several Chinese companies are using Uighur labor from a contentious government program to produce P.P.E. during the pandemic. We track some of that equipment to the U.S. and around the world.CreditCredit…Jingzhou TV, via Haokan Video

As companies across China rush to produce personal protective equipment amid the pandemic, a Times visual investigation has found that some of them are using Uighur labor through a government-sponsored program that experts say often puts people to work against their will.

Uighurs are a largely Muslim ethnic minority primarily from the Xinjiang region of northwest China. The government promotes the labor transfer program, which sends Uighurs and other ethnic minorities into factory and service jobs as a way to reduce poverty, but quotas on the number of workers put into the labor program and the penalties faced by those who refuse to cooperate mean that participation is often coerced.

Now, that labor is part of the P.P.E. supply chain.

According to China’s National Medical Products Administration, only four companies in Xinjiang produced medical grade protective equipment before the pandemic. As of June 30, that number was 51. After reviewing state media reports and public records, The Times found that at least 17 of those companies participate in the labor transfer program.

The companies produce equipment primarily for domestic use, but The Times identified several other companies outside Xinjiang that use Uighur labor and export globally. We traced a shipment of face masks to a medical supply company in the state of Georgia from a factory in China’s Hubei Province, where more than 100 Uighur workers had been sent.

New York City is easing into its next phase of reopening, but indoor limits remain.



New York City to Enter Phase 4 on Monday, de Blasio Says

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would allow some outdoor entertainment venues like zoos and botanical gardens to reopen with limited capacities but that restrictions would remain on indoor activities.

We are moving forward with Phase 4 on Monday. Now, the state of New York is finishing some work today into this afternoon on the specifics, and they’ll have a formal announcement later on. But I can give you the broad outlines now of what we’ve talked about with the state. Let’s focus first on outdoors, again, outdoors has proven to be the area where we’re seeing a lot of things work successfully. So, we’re going to restart the low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment activities. This means things like botanical gardens and zoos, for example. They can reopen but at reduced capacity, 33 percent capacity. Production of movies, TV shows — that can proceed. The, obviously, something that matters to a lot of us, sports coming back. But again — without audiences. Indoors is where we have concerns. Some indoor activities can exist with the proper restrictions. But there’s going to be care when it comes to indoors. Each and every situation is going to be looked at very carefully, very individually. So some will not resume in Phase 4, certainly not right away. That continues to be, first of all, indoor dining. That could have started earlier. We’ve said that’s not happening. That continues to not happen. That is very high risk. And we’ve seen that around the country. Museums, not yet. Malls, not yet. Still closed for now. We’ve got to strike a balance, and we’ve got time to look at the evidence, watch what’s happened around the country, watch what’s happening here in the city, and make further decisions on some of these pieces. And we’ll do that very carefully with the state of New York.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would allow some outdoor entertainment venues like zoos and botanical gardens to reopen with limited capacities but that restrictions would remain on indoor activities.CreditCredit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

New York City entered a limited fourth phase of reopening on Monday, the last part of the state to do so, allowing some art and entertainment venues, like zoos and botanical gardens, to open for outdoor activities at a limited capacity.

But stringent restrictions will remain on indoor activities: Gyms, malls, movie theaters and museums will remain shuttered, and indoor dining will still not be allowed. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that the city does not have “a set timeline” on when to resume indoor activities nor a deadline on when to decide.

“We’ve got to strike a balance, and we’ve got time to look at the evidence,” he said Friday. “Watch what’s happening around the country, watch what’s happening here in the city and make further decisions on some of these pieces, and we will do that very carefully with the State of New York.”

In Phase 4, groups of up to 50 people are allowed as well as indoor religious gatherings to operate at one-third of maximum capacity. Outdoor film production and professional sports without audiences can also resume.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said last week that in New York City, bars and restaurants would be subject to a special “Three Strikes and You’re Closed” regimen: If they overlooked violations of social-distancing rules or allowed customers to drink without ordering food, they could lose their liquor licenses after three violations.

And after a weekend that saw crowds partying outside Astoria in Queens and elsewhere, the governor on Monday threatened to roll back the reopening of bars and restaurants in New York City. He said that if lax local enforcement continued of social distancing and open-container laws, he would step in, adding that his warning applied to parts of Long Island and upstate New York, too.

“We cannot allow those congregations to continue. If it happens, I’ll tell you what’s going to happen: We’re going to have to roll back the opening plan and we’re going to have to close bars and restaurants” Mr. Cuomo said at his briefing. “I’m telling you, we are right on the line.”

India announces a record 40,000 cases in one day.

Credit…Arun Sankar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

India recorded at least 40,000 new virus infections on Monday, its highest single-day total.

In recent weeks, as Indian officials began lifting a nationwide lockdown, infections have jumped sharply. Many states, from Tamil Nadu in the south to Uttar Pradesh in the north, reimposed partial lockdowns.

But new hot spots have emerged, and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology now estimate that India will be the worst-hit country in the world by the end of next year. India, with 1.1 million confirmed cases, now falls behind only the United States, with 3.7 million, and Brazil, with two million.

In recent days, the number of India’s new daily infections has started to surpass Brazil’s, with about 34,000 new cases a day over the past week compared to 33,000 in Brazil, according to a New York Times database.

Without visitors to the Tower of London, Beefeaters, the guardians, face job losses.

Credit…Leon Neal/Getty Images

The pandemic has forced some Beefeaters, the ceremonial guards of the Tower of London, to lose their jobs, quite possibly for the first time in their long history.

Historic Royal Palaces, the self-funded charity that manages the castle and five other historic buildings, said in an email on Monday that a voluntary separation program had been put in place for the 37 Beefeaters, officially known as Yeoman Warders of the Tower London. The charity said it was likely that involuntary job losses will follow.

John Barnes, the charity’s chief executive, said on Monday that the 80 percent of its income comes from visitors, and the nearly four-month closure of all six sites has dealt “a devastating blow” to its finances. Out of all its sites, the Tower is the most visited, with two-thirds of the visitors coming from overseas. It is also the largest attraction in the country that charges admission, the charity said.

“We have taken every possible measure to secure our financial position, but we need to do more to survive in the long term,” Mr. Barnes said. “We simply have no choice but to reduce our payroll costs.”

The Beefeaters live on site, and the charity said that if any of them are let go, measures will be put in place to ensure a smooth transition.

It is believed that this is the first time the guards have faced job losses, the charity said.

After reopening this month, the Bahamas closes its door to U.S. citizens.

Credit…Damon Winter/The New York Times

The Bahamas, one of the international destinations where U.S. citizens could still travel, will ban commercial flights or vessels from the United States starting this week, the country’s prime minister announced on Sunday.

The ban does not include commercial flights from Canada or the European Union or “private international flights,” the prime minister, Hubert Minnis, said. Pleasure craft and yachts will also be permitted.

The government-owned airline, Bahamasair, will also cease flights to the United States “effective immediately,” Mr. Minnis said.

The Bahamas has recorded 153 cases of the virus and 11 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

Reporting was contributed by Geneva Abdul, Matt Apuzzo, Alexander Burns, Emily Cochrane, Jason DeParle, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Lalena Fisher, Selam Gebrekidan, Maggie Haberman, Drew Jordan, David D. Kirkpatrick, Juliana Kim, Christoph Koettl, David Leonhardt, Eric Lipton, Iliana Magra, Jonathan Martin, Jeffery C. Mays, Andy Newman, Sean Piccoli, Natalie Reneau, Dana Rubinstein, Kai Schultz, Kaly Soto, Haley Willis and Muyi Xiao.