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CORONA WATCH--I have to warn you, don’t read this if you’re already panicked, stressed out, or anxious. It’s one of the most depressing things I think I’ve ever written, and I’m not exactly known for writing cheery missives.

Here’s a bitter truth: Covid is exploding out of control in America. Today was the worst day so far: the daily rate is reaching 70,000 a day. That’s getting perilously close to 100K per day — the number north of which a society will simply begin ceasing to function in basic ways, systems from healthcare to employment to banking breaking down, juddering apart, coming done, stalling and plummeting into freefall.

So. Let’s cut to the chase.

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CORONA WATCH--A boat taking part in a boat parade for the re-election of President Donald Trump passes by Point State Park on the Allegheny River on July 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Roughly 30 boats and a group of 50 supporters along the shoreline showed up for the event though over 10,000 people had signed up online for the event. (Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Donald Trump said last Thursday’s jobs report, which showed an uptick in June, proves the economy is “roaring back.

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CORONA WATCH--On Tuesday, Anthony Fauci sat in a Senate hearing room that had been reconfigured for social distancing and listened, mask at hand, as Patty Murray, of Washington, described the consequences of America’s failure to manage its pandemic. The tally of cases was soaring in a majority of states, particularly in the South and West; Murray, speaking by video, quoted a C.D.C. official who had warned that there was “too much virus to control in the U.S.” Murray stated the obvious: “Our strategy hasn’t worked.” What, she asked, did the federal and state governments need to do to turn the numbers around?

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CORONA WATCH-Just how badly has America — or the Trump administration and the Republicans — botched Coronavirus?

You know things are bad. But only some global context reveals just how staggeringly bad they really are.

America had 41,000 new Coronavirus cases yesterday. That’s an all-time high. As in, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March. America hasn’t flattened the curve — it’s still marching relentlessly upwards.

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CORONA WATCH--To prevent a dangerous new virus from having its way with humankind, you might take a page from the Chinese warrior king Sun Tzu, and think like the enemy. (Photo above: LA Times.)

Imagine you are a coronavirus, in a form never before seen by humans. Your goal is simple but wildly ambitious: invade and hijack the cells of a new host and multiply for as long it takes to establish your spawn in at least one other new host.

Repeat until there are no humans left to infect.

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CORONA WATCH--Bartenders over the weekend began mixing drinks, gyms turned on elliptical machines and nail salons began polishing away as Los Angeles County reopened more of its economy even as coronavirus cases continued to rise.

The county, a hotbed of COVID-19 in California, now has reported more than 3,000 deaths and 80,000 confirmed cases. The rising case numbers have sparked some worry about whether the economy is reopening too quickly and that easing stay-at-home orders could cause new outbreaks.

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CORONA WATCH--The United Nations announced Thursday that at least 75.9 million people were forcibly displaced as of the end of last year. (Photo: Houssam Hariri/UNHCR)

A United Nations report revealed Thursday that an unprecedented 79.5 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced by the end of last year "as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events seriously disturbing public order" and now face the added threat of the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened millions and killed hundreds of thousands across the globe.

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CORONA WATCH--America just passed the grimmest of milestones. A hundred thousand dead of Coronavirus. 

How can sense be made of a such a colossal number? The mind reels. It’s staggering. When I think about it, my head spins.

I think, though, that it’s such a big number that it almost becomes meaningless. So let me try to put it in context for you.

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CORONA WATCH--"To contain the virus and relaunch the economy, everyone needs health care," write Archer and Potter. "But without employer-sponsored health insurance and a paycheck, many workers are no longer able to afford the care they need. During a pandemic, that puts all of us in danger." (Photo: Paul Becker / Becker1999 / flickr / cc)

The novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed many failings in our health care system, among them the unreliability and excessive cost of employer-sponsored health insurance. More than 40 million people are newly unemployed as a result of the pandemic. According to economists at University of Massachusetts, PERI, among these newly unemployed, 25.6 million workers and their families—more than 75 million people—are also likely to be uninsured.

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CORONA WATCH-Covid-19, an ongoing global human tragedy, may have at least one silver lining. It has led millions of people to question America’s most malignant policies at home and abroad.

Regarding Washington’s war policies abroad, there’s been speculation that the coronavirus might, in the end, put a dent in such conflicts, if not prove an unintended peacemaker -- and with good reason, since a cash-flush Pentagon has proven impotent as a virus challenger. Meanwhile, it’s become ever more obvious that, had a fraction of “defense” spending been invested in chronically underfunded disease control agencies, this country’s response to the coronavirus crisis might have been so much better.

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CORONA WATCH--Outside of Boston, a marketing company is struggling to figure out how to cover its bills. In Indiana, a dance studio is waiting on three emergency-loan applications. In Baltimore, a deli is closed and desperate for help.

The government is engaged in an unprecedented effort to save such companies as pandemic-related shutdowns stretch into the spring. But Washington’s policies are too complicated, too small, and too slow for many firms: Across the United States, millions of small businesses are struggling, and millions are failing. The great small-business die-off is here, and it will change the landscape of American commerce, auguring slower growth and less innovation in the future.

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CORONA WATCH--If you have Medicare and want to be tested for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Trump Administration has good news. 

Medicare covers tests with no out-of-pocket costs. You can get tested in your home, doctor’s office, a local pharmacy or hospital, a nursing home, or a drive-through site. Medicare does not require a doctor’s order for you to get tested.

Testing is particularly important for older people and nursing home residents, who are often among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Widespread access to testing is a critical precursor to a safe, gradual reopening of America.

When a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed, Medicare will cover that, too.

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