Power struggle over virus limits
Hours after two groups of governors announced on Monday that they were starting to plan the eventual easing of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump asserted that the decision would be his.
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Mr. Trump said, though he offered no legal or constitutional basis for his claim. Vice President Mike Pence later said that the administration would issue guidelines for states.
Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, one of seven governors in the Northeast who agreed to draw up a plan for reopening businesses and schools, said, “Seeing as we had the responsibility for closing the state down, I think we probably have the primary responsibility for opening it up.” The governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced a similar pact.
We’re also tracking the virus’s growth rate in hundreds of U.S. metro areas.
A food chain under stress
The U.S. supply chain is showing signs of strain, as workers in meat processing plants, warehouses and grocery stores fall ill.
Industry leaders and observers say the supply itself remains robust but acknowledge that shortages could increase.
“Consumers like to have a lot of different choices, and the reality is, in the short term, we just don’t have the labor to make that happen,” said Christine McCracken, a meat industry analyst.
There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food or its packaging, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Another angle: Evidence suggests it’s not just government restrictions that have chilled U.S. economic activity: Workers and consumers are behaving differently because of their own concerns about the virus. As a result, it’s likely that the economy will recover slowly even after limits are eased.
The Biden-Sanders alliance
Less than a week after Senator Bernie Sanders withdrew from the Democratic presidential race, he endorsed Joe Biden, a major step in attempting to unify a party in which the former vice president still faces deep skepticism from many younger, progressive voters.
Related: A liberal Democratic challenger upset an incumbent judge to win a State Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin, which on Monday released the final tallies from last week’s election. Here are the full results.
Go deeper: The Wisconsin results showed that a U.S. Supreme Court decision not to extend the deadline to vote by mail resulted in the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. As of Monday, 185,000 absentee ballots remained outstanding.
A month after the first coronavirus patients started arriving at hospitals in the New York City area, doctors have started sharing what it has been like to re-engineer a city’s health care systems, their practice and their personal lives. Above, Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.
Certain ironclad emergency medical practices — such as when to use ventilators — have dissolved almost overnight.
“What we thought we knew, we don’t know,” said an intensive care physician at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx.
Here’s what else is happening
A river throttled: Researchers found that engineers in China appeared to have limited the flow of the Mekong River, leading to record low water levels in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
52 Places, revisited: Our former columnist, now at home in New York, reached out to friends he made on his trip around the world to learn how they’re faring during the pandemic.
Late-night comedy: After Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden over live-streamed video, Jimmy Kimmel said: “That’s a very powerful message for the country — if two 80-year-old men can successfully log into a Zoom meeting, anything is possible.”
Now, a break from the news
Cope: Here’s how to cut hair now. And why, perhaps, you should start a coronavirus diary. (To record all your weird, unsettling dreams?) You should definitely be cooking with condiments, and substituting ingredients to suit what you have on hand.
Here’s our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the Back Story on …
Voices of the pandemic
Screaming children, worried employees and anxious grocery shoppers: On Monday’s episode of “The Daily,” our reporters asked people around the U.S. about their new realities.
Here’s an excerpt from one conversation between Campbell Robertson, our correspondent in Pittsburgh, and his neighbor Tanying Dong, who works in public law and has been at home with her three sons while her husband works in a hospital.
How is it going today?
It was a relatively calm morning. I had Yan do some homework. I had the other two just watch TV. I tried to get some work done midmorning, which I did. I finished one project. My oldest one had one major tantrum where he was just screaming because he couldn’t find his sweatshirt.
It’s, like, his favorite sweatshirt. It turned out, it was on one of the strollers outside. Like, why would you leave it in the stroller?
How are the 3- and 5-year-olds today?
I have been just generally letting them float along and whatever they want to do. Occasionally they’ll get sick of the TV, and they’ll want to just come upstairs and do something non-TV-related, and it’s good and bad. It’s like, oh, that’s nice. You’re using your imagination. But on the other hand, it’s like, please just go watch TV and don’t destroy the house.
The little one just likes to kind of run laps around the house, which is great because that kind of wears him out a little bit.
I think, generally, we’re settling into a routine. That first two weeks was rough.
Just having a hard time accepting that, Oh, my God, all three of my kids are going to be home all the time and I’m going to be pretty much by myself with them the entire time. And, Oh, my God, how am I going to handle this? Because I’ve never had to do this.
Right now they’re used to being at home, they’re used to this, whatever this is.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Melissa Clark provided the recipe, and Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about an allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Make laugh (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Times journalists will discuss the role of gender in coronavirus research with Caroline Criado Perez, author of the award-winning book “Invisible Women,” during a group call with readers at 4 p.m. Eastern today. R.S.V.P. here.