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Coronavirus Updates: Latest News and Analysis

U.S. lawmakers work toward a new aid deal.

With coronavirus cases soaring across the United States, the debate in Washington over a new relief package to help people and businesses weather the crisis is set to take center stage in the coming week, and negotiators were meeting over the weekend in hopes of making progress on a deal.

Trump administration officials and top congressional Democrats met on Capitol Hill on Saturday amid an impasse over new aid, hours after unemployment benefits lapsed for tens of millions of people.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who hosted the meeting with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, said that staff members would meet on Sunday and that the main negotiators would convene again on Monday. They called the discussion on Saturday productive but said that the sides remained far apart on several matters.

At issue is the gap between the latest relief packages put forward by Democrats and Republicans.

A $1 trillion proposal issued by Senate Republicans and administration officials last week includes cutting by two-thirds the $600-per-week unemployment payments that workers had received since April and providing tax cuts and liability protections for businesses.

A $3 trillion relief package approved by House Democrats in May includes an extension of the jobless aid, nearly $200 billion for rental assistance and mortgage relief, $3.6 billion to bolster election security and additional aid for food assistance.

Ms. Pelosi has said that she plans to fight for more funding, particularly for schools. But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has warned against letting the cost go above $1 trillion.

Sunday’s talk shows may offer a preview of how the negotiations might unfold.

The chief negotiators on the aid deal — Ms. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — are to discuss the proposed measures on the ABC program “This Week.” The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is set to appear on the CBS program “Face the Nation.” And Adm. Brett P. Giroir, the health official leading the Trump administration’s testing strategy, is scheduled to appear on the NBC program “Meet the Press.”

The crowded grocery stores, empty shelves and barren streets of South Florida in the dawning days of the pandemic resembled the rush of preparations and then the tense silence preceding a hurricane.

Could humans pass the coronavirus to wildlife, specifically North American bats?

It may seem like a minor worry — far down the list from concerns like getting sick, losing a loved one or staying employed. But as the pandemic has made clear, the more careful people are about viruses passing among species, the better.

The scientific consensus is that the coronavirus originated in bats in China or neighboring countries. A recent paper tracing the genetic lineage of the virus found evidence that it probably evolved in bats into its current form. The researchers also concluded that either this coronavirus or others that could make the jump to humans may be present in bat populations.

So why worry about infecting more bats with the current virus?

The U.S. government considers it a legitimate concern both for bat populations, which have been devastated by a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome, and for humans, given potential problems down the road. If the virus can pass easily between species, it could potentially spill back over to humans.

Another concern is how readily the coronavirus might spread from bats to other kinds of wildlife or domestic animals, including pets. A small number of infected pets has gotten a good deal of publicity. But public health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that, although information is limited, the risk of pets spreading the virus to people is low.

They do recommend that any person who has Covid-19 take the same precautions with their pets that they would with human family members.

In Russia’s capital, anxieties over the pandemic appear to have slipped away, at least judging from the unmasked crowds flocking to restaurants and bars.

Despite laws requiring gloves and masks in public spaces, many people appear to have grown blasé about the dangers of the coronavirus, packing into small spaces to eat and drink. Yet casual attitudes about personal protection do not appear to have led to a public health crisis so far, according to official statistics.

According to government data, Russia has not had a surge of infections, and the daily infection rate nationwide has hovered around 5,000 to 6,000 cases ever since President Vladimir V. Putin last month declared victory over the pandemic.

Some amount of data manipulation may be responsible. The mayor of Norilsk, an industrial city in the Arctic, resigned recently after accusing regional officials of underreporting coronavirus figures. He said the real number of cases was more than twice the official count.

But while masks have not become as politicized as they have in the United States, they have quickly fallen out of favor with older men, and younger people who have labeled them unfashionable. Some hip restaurants popular with youth have even started banning them.

“It is better to get out and live normally and perhaps even get sick than to stay at home forever doing nothing,” said Polina Fedotova, 27, a patron at a cocktail bar in Moscow.

“We are people, not robots, and want to have a life,” said her companion, a 28-year-old doctor who works at a large Moscow hospital and who previously contracted the virus.

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