bill

Bill Gates describes ‘what gives us hope’ amid the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic as killed more than 150,000 Americans, disrupted the U.S. economy, and thrown society into disarray heading into the fall.

If there is any silver lining, according to Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, it would be the progress made toward treating people with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and a vaccine.

“The only positive thing out of this is that the pace of innovation, the way [the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] is working with the private sector to create therapeutics and vaccines, that’s moving at record speed,” Gates said in an episode of Influencers with Andy Serwer.

“And that’s what gives us hope,” he added. “That we can get the death rate down, better therapeutics … and then during 2021, we should be able to manufacture a lot of vaccines.” 

Bill and Melinda Gates on Good Morning America. (Photo: Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty

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Unemployment showdown + Team Draymond gains allies on dentist bill + Assessors speak out on ‘split-roll’

Happy Wednesday! You’ve made it to the middle of the week. Treat yourself by taking a break and reading our latest newsletter.

LATEST ON UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

More than 4 million Californians are paying their bills with help from the special $600 weekly unemployment payments Congress authorized in March as the coronavirus outbreak took hold. That deal expires this week, and lawmakers still are not set on a plan.

Here’s the latest from the team in the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Senate Republicans are seeking to reduce — but not eliminate — unemployment benefits related to the pandemic that are expiring at the end of this month, so that recipients are not making more money from the benefit than they did while working.

Republicans are rallying behind a reduction in the extra federal benefit. One idea under discussion is to lower the $600 weekly benefit to a flat amount. Another proposal

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A bathroom-break bill? California looks to make sure warehouse workers can take a break

OAKLAND, Calif.— A new California bill aims to change working conditions for warehouse workers who have come under increased productivity pressure from major retailers that track their every move.

The bill, AB3056, aims to ensure that workers are not penalized for time spent on personal hygiene such as hand washing or using the restroom. Many workers say that automated monitoring systems warn management if they spend too much time “off task.”

The bill would apply to warehouse workers who work for Amazon, Walmart, Target and other large retailers across the state, which has the most warehouses of any state in the United States, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, it passed the California state assembly last month, largely along party lines, with Democrats voting in favor.

The bill would also ensure that warehouse workers are paid overtime if they are compelled to work beyond their

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