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Communities of color are dying at higher rates from the novel coronavirus than white Americans. Here’s how structural inequities play a role.

USA TODAY

Florida, ravaged by a historic spike in COVID-19 cases for weeks, is showing signs of progress in statistics such as hospitalizations and positivity rates according to its governor — but stories of the human toll of the virus on young and old in the state continue to emerge this week.

In one case, a 21-year-old who believed he had recovered from a mild case suddenly became gravely ill with multi-organ failure. He’s now sharing his story as a warning of the potential for long-term illness.

And in a heartbreaking story, a 90-year-old man likely caught the virus as he said his final goodbye to his dying wife. After his story gained international attention, he also tested positive and later died. His family says he had no regrets.

Those stories come even as other areas of the country have gone months without serious outbreaks. In South Dakota, low case counts have left the governor supporting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an event that is set to attract 250,000 people over the next 10 days, even as experts warn a spike in cases could overwhelm the rural health care system.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Negotiations for another coronavirus stimulus package fell apart, but President Donald Trump says he may sign a series of executive orders on a number of programs aimed at helping Americans.
  • A CDC report found that with Hispanic children were hospitalized at a rate eight times higher than white kids, and Black children were hospitalized at a rate five times higher.
  • France and Germany have quit talks on reforming the World Health Organization in frustration at efforts by the U.S. to lead the negotiations, despite its decision to leave the WHO, three officials tell Reuters.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that all New York children will be able to return to the classroom this fall as long as regions’ infection rates remain low. 
  • Jobs report:The economy added 1.8 million jobs in July while unemployment fell to 10.2%, the Labor Department said Friday.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 161,000 deaths and 4.9 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been more than 721,000 deaths and 19.4 million cases. 

📰 What we’re reading: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive, then negative for COVID-19. That underscores how not all tests work the same way, nor do they always provide identical results. Even the same test taken twice can show contradictory outcomes. Here’s answers to common questions on the subject.

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