President Trump is trying to provide economic relief from the pandemic on his own, but it's unclear whether his approach is legal or feasible.
Coronavirus Relief Confusion
With the United States exceeding 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, by far the highest of any country, and with its economy still in a deep slump and more than 31 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits, there is still great confusion as to what the national plan is for economic relief is provided.
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After talks collapsed on Capitol Hill to try to reach a bipartisan deal, President Trump said he had bypassed Congress and taken unilateral action to help Americans struggling during the coronavirus crisis, despite uncertainty about his legal authority to provide financial assistance.
The stated goals of his four Executive Orders signed at his New Jersey golf club are to defer some employees' payroll taxes, continue a temporary eviction ban, reduce the student loan burden, and extend federal unemployment benefits to $ 400 per week. That's $ 200 less than the recently closed weekly benefit convention approved earlier this year as part of its coronavirus relief package. The problem, however, is that states would have to pay $ 100 out of that $ 400 – and some have already said they don't have the money.
On Sunday, Trump's senior advisors sought to explain the mechanisms envisaged to implement the president's wishes, which were sometimes contradicting each other, and the Democrats suggested that Trump's attempts to unilaterally govern spending and tax policies – usually the jurisdiction of Congress – are quite divergent could be their own.
Politically, Trump's moves offer more evidence of losing political clout in Washington and early onset of "lame duck" status as Republican leaders in Congress appear increasingly ready to oppose or reject him .
Working behind closed doors
In the face of a pandemic that left millions of Californians unemployed and gutted businesses both large and small, Governor Gavin Newsom promised that "Health and Science" would help state officials repair and steer the economy.
When Newsom quickly reopened the state in May, it also took advice from an all-star list of business titans: the Governor's Task Force on Business and Job Recovery, a 108-person group that includes former California governors , Apple CEO Tim Cook, Bob Iger, Disney Executive Chairman, and Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve Chairperson, are among its members.
Furthermore, little is known about the work of the task force, including the broad role the group played in shaping the decisions to reopen California. Some in Sacramento say they are still waiting for the big ideas Newsom promised when it announced the group in April.
A piece of hope
As the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 began to surge in Los Angeles County earlier this summer, officials warned that a significant increase in deaths was inevitable. A record breaking number of cases could lead to a record breaking number of deaths, they said.
But that didn't happen almost two months later. The coronavirus continues to kill hundreds of people in LA County every week, but the death toll has remained lower than expected.
The trend is partly due to the illness of younger people, as well as better control of the spread of the disease in high risk situations like nursing homes. However, doctors say there is another factor that increases survival rates: better treatments.
Even so, many people who get sick may not die but suffer long-term health consequences.
More top coronavirus headlines
– Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Health, abruptly resigned just days after discovering a computer system glitch that led to the state's undercounting of COVID-19 cases.
– Los Angeles County public health officials reported 1,789 new cases and 10 deaths on Sunday, but said the numbers did not yet include an outstanding backlog of lab reports that could indicate an increase in new cases.
– Ready-made food vendors are trying to combat rules banning them at LA County's farmers markets.
Minor brawls broke out between rival protesters in front of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, in which those gathered were welcomed as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, contrary to a judge's orders banning indoor service.
– Hermosa Beach officials say they are calling staff from a private consultancy firm to help law enforcement agencies enforce a regulation requiring face-covering in many public areas.
– A COVID-19 testing site will open right outside a pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro, where tens of thousands of people from Mexico enter the US every day.
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The California Labor Office has processed 9.7 million claims since March – more than twice as many as in the worst year of the Great Recession – and has paid $ 59.8 billion in unemployment benefits since the pandemic began.
Amid the suffering of those who lost their jobs or hours in the pandemic, there are also scammers in the U.S. making fraudulent jobless claims – and overcrowded authorities are having a hard time eradicating them. In California, only 27 sworn officers are tasked with investigating fraud, while the rest of the agency is focused on processing claims.
An official from the agency urged the public to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, including obtaining unemployment insurance forms when no claim was made.
OUR MUST READ FROM THE WEEKEND
– Although Newsom and California corrections officials have focused on releasing nonviolent offenders during the pandemic, they are also leaving out individuals who have committed violent crimes but suffer from serious medical conditions.
– In the face of a wave of displacement, California will leave thousands of children homeless, writes columnist Erika D. Smith.
– In the middle of a pandemic, a miracle happened for Father Greg Boyle and his Homeboy Industries, as columnist Steve Lopez investigates.
– These members of the U.S. women's water polo team are Olympic gold medalists. But this team was forged in tragedy.
FROM THE ARCHIVE
That day in 1984, Mary Decker and Zola Budd had their feet tangled in the women's 3,000-meter race at the Los Angeles Olympics. The incident threw Decker into the Colosseum's infield and out of the running.
Budd, a South African running for Britain, stumbled but found herself again. Decker fell to the floor and tore the number off Budd's back as it fell. Maricica Puica from Romania won the race and Budd was seventh.
25 years later, Budd told Bill Dwyre of The Times that he was taken to her mother's hotel, where she was half-hiding. She watched TV for two days and waited for her flight back to England.
"I ate a lot of Haagen Dazs ice cream," she said.
Mary Decker becomes embroiled in Zola Budd and falls in the women's 3000 meter final at the Colosseum.
(Hiram Clawson / Los Angeles Times)
– The Apple fire continues to burn in Riverside County for more than a week after the outbreak, but firefighters have gotten the fire under control as their focus shifts from protecting homes to stopping the fire from growing.
– Military officials are preparing to take the remains of seven U.S. Marines and one Marine Seaman who died on a training mission near San Clemente Island to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, over the next few days to pay for the funeral to be prepared.
More than a year after a law to curb short-term rentals in LA, Airbnb offers still advertise thousands of illegal rentals online, according to city officials and a Times analysis.
– With arrested and suspended LA Councilman Jose Huizar, who is responsible in his district?
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– Russia has continued its support for Trump by actively seeking to undermine the candidacy of Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic candidate. This emerges from a US intelligence assessment published on Friday, which indicates far-reaching foreign threats to the November elections.
– The strongest North Carolina earthquake in more than 100 years struck homes, businesses, and residents.
– Hong Kong police arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai and raided the publisher's headquarters to take full advantage of the new national security law that Beijing imposed on the city after protests last year.
– Cambodia, which has withstood the worst health effects of the pandemic to date, is at risk of financial collapse as millions of smaller loans grow into insurmountable debt.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
– The near future of theme park experiences could be very different. Here are some creative ways in which theme parks can responsibly reopen.
– Fans of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden" may have noticed some particularly dramatic changes at the end of the 1911 novel in Marc Munden's new adaptation.
– In "Black Is King" Beyoncé sings "My Power" in a church in downtown Los Angeles. Production designer Hannah Beachler collapses.
– Netflix filmed Chrishell Stause's surprise divorce for "Selling Sunset" in November. Now, as the episodes showing the divorce begin, she says anxiously but "ready to just tear the patch off".
– TikTok reportedly plans to file a federal lawsuit as early as Tuesday to contest Trump's order banning the US video-sharing service as unconstitutional. Meanwhile, TikTok's pain is Triller's win. But will the LA-based video app rise continue?
– A string of blockbuster deals has spurred a revival in merger and acquisition activity since the beginning of July, and companies have rushed to prepare for the recession.
– The 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues has received an increased focus after the recent protests against social inequality.
When Serena Williams left her bladder in Florida to play her first games in six months, she packed a new sense of perspective with her tennis gear, writes columnist Helene Elliott.
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– Despite all fears about the reopening of schools, we know quite a lot when we watch other countries how to do it safely, writes the editors of the Times. The success looks very similar to Uruguay and Denmark. It doesn't look like Israel – or a school in Dallas, Ga.
– California should let voters decide how to fill vacant Senate seats, writes columnist George Skelton, not the governor.
WHAT OUR PUBLISHERS READ
– Trump's campaign and Republican Party have sued in court to challenge rules for voting by email while Trump's aides ponder possible executive action. (Politico)
– The "Most Hated Attraction" in Disney History. (SF Gate)
ONLY IN L.A.
Julio Gosdinski, a native Peruvian who started working at Griffith Park Carousel as a teenager, was so dedicated to it that the owner eventually made him a co-owner. He loved jumping on and off the carousel while driving to impress kids. And if parents or anyone asked about the history or mechanics of the nearly 100-year-old carousel, they would take them on an extended tour. Gosdinski died last week at the age of 49. Some of his many fans shared their memories.
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