The Trump administration has refused or declined to institute a comprehensive national framework for responding to COVID-19 including buying and disseminating virus tests. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, again expressed alarm at the increasing rate of infections after the country continues to discover more than 50,000 new cases per day. Fauci warned that the country was still “knee-deep in the first wave” of the pandemic, as U.S. deaths passed 130,000 and cases neared three million.
As the United States passes three million cases, most cities and states are still struggling with testing. Sites in New Orleans have run out of tests five minutes after doors open. In Phoenix, where temperatures have topped 100 degrees, residents have waited in cars for as long as eight hours to get tested.
America’s health care workers are dying; medical personnel account for as many as 20% of known coronavirus cases in many places. “Lost on the Frontline,” a collaboration between KHN and The Guardian, has identified 765 such workers who likely died of COVID-19 after helping patients during the pandemic.
As much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major donors to President Donald Trump’s election efforts, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data. Many were among the first to be approved for a loan in early April, when the administration was struggling to launch the lending program. Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving loans include City of Destiny, the Florida church that Trump’s personal pastor and White House faith adviser Paula White-Cain calls home, and First Baptist Dallas, led by Trump ally and senior pastor Robert Jeffress. City of Destiny got between $150,000 and $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and First Baptist Dallas got between $2 million and $5 million, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Monday. Nearly 90,000 companies in the program took the aid without promising on their applications they would rehire workers or create jobs.