What You Need to Know Today: Coronavirus, Economy, Joe Biden

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Good morning.

We’re covering signs that the government’s stimulus program isn’t working, the spread of the coronavirus to workers in U.S. food processing plants, and, for a change of pace, Weird Al Yankovic. And it’s Friday, so there’s a new news quiz.

As the pandemic reaches meat processing plants, some companies have offered financial incentives to keep workers on the job. But the spread of illness is forcing plants to close.

“My mom said the guy at the plant said they had to work to feed America. But my mom was sick,” said the son of a woman who worked at a poultry plant in Georgia. She died on Thursday.

There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food, but health experts have advised wiping down packaging because the virus could survive on those surfaces for days.

Here are the latest updates from the U.S. and from abroad, as well as maps of the pandemic.

We’re also tracking the virus’s growth rate in hundreds of U.S. metro areas.

In other developments:

  • The number of new patients hospitalized with the virus in New York State is shrinking, but the daily death toll on Thursday was near 800 for a second day, bringing total fatalities to more than 7,000.

  • Allies of President Trump told The Times that they wanted him to limit his appearances at daily coronavirus briefings. The briefings have had high TV ratings, but Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said the president “sometimes drowns out his own message.”

“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about Asian-Americans who say they have been attacked and blamed for the pandemic.

The details: We’ve compiled expert guidance on several subjects, including health, money and travel.

The Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter — like all of our newsletters — is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.

It turns out, Times journalists had joined them: “Not The New York Times” was also an inside job.

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