According to a study by Columbia University, eight million Americans are living in poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Despite the implementation of the CARES Act, which provided much-needed direct cash payments to many, the effect was only temporary.

And like many other aspects of the pandemic, Black and Hispanic communities and children are disproportionately feeling the brunt of rising poverty rates. A family of four earning $26,000 per year or less is considered living below the poverty line.

In April, the federal stimulus saved about 18 million Americans from poverty. As of September, that number has plummeted to four million. Today, 55 million people are living in poverty, according to Columbia researchers.

The findings are highlighted by news of negotiations for a new pandemic stimulus package this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Saturday that early this week, Republicans will attempt to pass a stand-alone Paycheck Protection Program bill to help struggling small businesses, as well as a $500 stimulus bill that was previously rejected by Democrats.

On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to McConnell’s announcement, mandating that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin must reach an agreement within 48 hours, meaning by the end of the day on Tuesday, if they want to pass a coronavirus stimulus relief bill before Election Day.

Pelosi blames stalled negotiations on the Trump administration’s move to change language related to testing and contact tracing, as well as a scaled-down price tag that Democrats say don’t go far enough to help Americans and state and local governments.

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC

As of Sunday, 29 cities are seeing rises in coronavirus cases while only two are reporting decreases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Cases in Connecticut and Florida have risen by 50% or more. Another 27 states’ case counts have increased between 10% and 50%. Vermont and Missouri are reporting a more than 10% decrease in the number of cases over the past week.

More than 219,000 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S.

A 59-year-old retired firefighter in Wichita, Kansas who opposed the city’s mask ordinance was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill the mayor.

According to authorities, Democratic Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said someone had read him text messages received by another city official that asked about the mayor’s address and threatened his life.

Wichita police spokesman Charley Davidson said that no other local officials are believed to have been targeted.

Diet cola TAB has become the latest retail victim of the pandemic. Coca-Cola’s first diet soda is being discontinued after 57 years after disappearing sales since the introduction of Diet Coke and the coronavirus crisis has forced the soda giant to make cuts.

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