Renters entered the pandemic at a disadvantage, and now laws safeguarding them are expiring.
The United States, already wrestling with an economic collapse not seen in a generation, is on the precipice of a compounding crisis of evictions, as protections and payments extended to millions of people out of work begin to run out.
Many have been scraping by thanks to temporary government assistance and emergency orders that put many evictions on hold. But evictions will soon be allowed in about half of the states, according to Emily A. Benfer, a housing expert and associate professor at Columbia Law School who is tracking eviction policies.
“I think we will enter into a severe renter crisis and very quickly,” Professor Benfer said. Without a new round of government intervention, she added, “we will have an avalanche of evictions across the country.”
That means more and more families may soon face displacement at a time when people are still being urged to stay at home.
In many places, the threat has already begun. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that evictions could begin again. In the Oklahoma City area, sheriffs apologetically announced that they planned to start enforcing eviction notices this week. And a handful of states had few statewide protections in place to begin with, leaving residents particularly vulnerable as eviction cases stacked up.
First-quarter profits shrank at the fastest rate in over a decade, and analysts don’t like what they see coming. In fact, they think things will get worse before they get better, and have revised their forecasts accordingly. Yet investors keep pushing stocks higher.
Any finance textbook’s section on equity prices holds that the direction of the stock market is determined, to a large extent, by the profits and dividends that shareholders expect companies to produce in the future. And academic research has repeatedly shown that when Wall Street analysts revise their forecasts for a company’s profits, it can move share prices.
So going by the conventional wisdom, the current collapse in profit expectations — and analysts’ woeful prognoses for future earnings — should be clobbering share prices. But investors don’t appear to be taking their cues from analysts. The S&P 500 has soared more than 30 percent over the past two months.
The sector was already fragile: Unlike public education, the child care industry operates almost entirely on private tuition payments, and most providers are barely profitable. With closings because of the coronavirus, many cannot continue to pay landlords or teachers.
Now that more states are allowing child care centers to reopen, those that survived face higher expenses because of additional rules about sanitation and new limits, like no more than 10 children per classroom. In some cases, enrollment is down because parents can no longer afford to pay, or because they are worried about the health risks.
“You really can’t talk about reopening the economy without a conversation about how children are going to be taken care of,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, one of the lead sponsors of a bill — to be introduced in the House today — that would spend $50 billion to cover operating expenses, new safety measures and tuition relief for families. “We cannot let this pandemic set back the next generation.”
House Republican leaders sued Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top congressional officials on Tuesday to block the House of Representatives from using a remote proxy voting system set up by Democrats to allow for remote legislating during the pandemic, calling it unconstitutional, according to three officials familiar with the plans.
House Democrats planned to use the procedures for the first time today, when the chamber will consider legislation to relax the terms of a small business loan program.
In a lawsuit that names the House clerk and sergeant-at-arms as defendants, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, and about 20 other Republicans argue that new rules that allow lawmakers to vote from afar amid the coronavirus outbreak would be the end of Congress as it was envisioned by the nation’s founders, Nicholas Fandos and Michael Schmidt report.
Democrats pushed the plan through this month over unanimous Republican opposition. The Republicans planned to ask a federal judge in Washington to strike down the practice immediately — leaving uncertain the fate of legislation the House planned to take up this week using the new procedures — and to invalidate it permanently.
The suit will face an uphill battle in the federal courts, where judges have been reluctant to second-guess Congress’s ability to set its own rules. And it comes as the Supreme Court has been hearing arguments remotely, by telephone. But it fits into a broader push by Republicans, led by President Trump, to put a cloud of suspicion over Democratic efforts to find alternative ways to vote during the pandemic and to portray them as fraudulent attempts to gain political advantage.
On Sunday, the Republican Party sued Gov. Gavin Newsom of California and the state’s secretary of state in an attempt to strike down an executive order dispatching mail-in ballots to every registered voter there, deriding it as an “illegal power grab” and part of Democrats’ “partisan election agenda.”
Mr. McCarthy has also called the proxy voting system a “power grab” by Democrats. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, suggested he might not take up any legislation passed by the House when a quorum of members was not physically present.
“There will be enormous constitutional questions around anything the House does if they fail to demonstrate a real quorum but plow ahead anyhow,” Mr. McConnell said last week.
The new procedures adopted by the House allow any absent lawmaker to designate another member who is physically present to record a vote on his or her behalf during periods when the speaker, the clerk and the sergeant-at-arms agree there is a state of emergency because of the virus.
Working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic can be hazardous, but staying home isn’t safe either for the emergency responders, pharmacists, home health aides, grocery clerks and deliverymen who fill River Park Towers in the Bronx.
Even a ride down the elevator is risky. Residents often must wait up to an hour to squeeze into small, poorly ventilated cars that break down frequently, with people crowding the hallways like commuters trying to push into the subway at rush hour.
There is talk that as many as 100 residents have been sickened by the coronavirus at the two massive towers rising above the Morris Heights neighborhood along the Harlem River. But no one knows for sure, since the leader of the tenant association died from Covid-19 in April.
“It’s the death towers, you could say that,” said Maria Lopez, 42, a resident with a variety of health issues, including asthma, who has watched 10 of her neighbors being taken away by paramedics.
It has spread building by building in neighborhoods like Morris Heights that have been unable to fight back, reflecting a legacy of institutionalized racism, poverty, cramped housing and chronic health problems that have put their residents at higher risk of getting sick and dying.
That contract was signed nearly two years ago, and moving a 50,000-person, multimillion-dollar event less than three months before it happens would be extraordinary.
But Mr. Trump — in contrast to the host committee that is coordinating the event — threatened on Monday to move the convention unless Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina provided a “guarantee” that there would be no virus-related restrictions on the size of the event. Mr. Cooper, a Democrat, refused to do so.
“I will say that it’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be,” Mr. Cooper said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We’re talking about something that’s going to happen three months from now, and we don’t know what our situation is going to be.”
Mr. Cooper added that his office had asked the Republican National Committee to provide a written proposal for holding the convention safely.
Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, a Republican, tweeted at Mr. Trump on Tuesday, saying that his state “would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said he, too, would be delighted to host: “Heck, I’m a Republican — it would be good for us to have the D.N.C., in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that.”
For months, college sports leaders have declared that if classes do not resume on campus this fall, football and other sports would not be played. But even then, some believe exceptions can be made if there is other limited student activity, and there is increasing pressure to find ways to play.
Though campuses remain largely shuttered for the summer, signs of reopening for football have emerged in the last two weeks.
The Southeastern and Big 12 conferences voted Friday to open their training facilities in early June for voluntary workouts, following the end of an N.C.A.A. ban on on-campus sports activities. The Pac-12 joined them Tuesday, after Commissioner Larry Scott suggested in a CNN interview that athletes would be safer on campuses than at home. The expectation is that by mid-July, teams could begin practicing.
This push to reopen, coming when about two-thirds of states are not showing a decline in Covid-19 cases, demands extraordinary steps: sanitizing facilities, widespread testing and social distancing in a sport whose very essence is contact.
And there’s no guarantee that if the season begins on time, it will finish as scheduled.
As Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner, said in a webinar with other college administrators last week, in which he described college campuses as petri dishes for the transmission of infectious diseases: “It isn’t a matter of when we’re going to have outbreaks, it’s a matter of how big they are and how we go about triaging.”
And for the hesitant, their single greatest concern is their fellow audience members, who they worry will show up without masks or ignore social-distancing rules.
A New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll, administered to New York State voters between May 17 and May 21, sought to gauge how soon New Yorkers would be comfortable attending live performances like Broadway shows. It showed a wariness of attending live theater performances, and pop and classical music concerts if they were to resume around Sept. 1, as well as a high bar for social distancing at venues that some industry leaders say it would not be possible for them to meet.
Broadway industry leaders have said that their theaters will remain shuttered at least through Labor Day. Many believe that January is the earliest likely reopening date. The industry is seen as one of the most difficult to reopen because Broadway shows are often populated by tourists and seniors, two groups who seem likely to return to Times Square more slowly than others, and because of the close quarters onstage, backstage and in the audience.
Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, a trade organization representing producers and theater owners, said the group was exploring every safety protocol from temperature checks to drones that disperse disinfectant. Social distancing, however, “won’t work for Broadway,” she said.
Global updates: Japan and Europe have major stimulus plans.
Two of the world’s biggest economies said today that they would pump trillions of dollars into propping up businesses, industries and individuals hard-hit by the coronavirus.
The clear plastic guards may be easier to wear, disinfect and reuse than cloth or surgical face coverings, although they don’t entirely replace the need for masks.
Is your family more ‘together,’ or less?
All this time together with your family may have led to greater feelings of connectedness. Or maybe you are experiencing more moments of the complete opposite: more bickering, fighting and frustrations. No matter where you fall on the togetherness spectrum, here are a few pieces of advice for getting through those rough patches:
Reporting was contributed by Alan Blinder, Eileen Sullivan, Maggie Astor, Karen Barrow, Lindsey Rogers Cook, Nicholas Fandos, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Winnie Hu, Julia Jacobs, Sarah Mervosh, Claire Cain Miller, Matt Phillips, Michael S. Schmidt, Kaly Soto, Matt Stevens, David Waldstein and Billy Witz.