Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from across the United States. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
The White House’s projections of the virus outbreak, the Trump administration’s roll back on mileage standards, the debate on widespread mail-in ballots, blocking of abortion bans in three states and three major retailers furloughing a majority of their workers make up this week’s five national stories.
White House turns to statistical models for virus forecast
White House officials are relying on statistical models to help predict the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and try to protect as many people as possible. The public could get its first look at the Trump administration’s own projections Tuesday at the daily briefing. Such models are a standard tool in epidemiology, the branch of medicine that deals with how diseases spread and how to control them. These estimates and results vary by what factors the modelers put in.
Read More: Virus outbreak
Administration to release final rule on mileage rollback
President Donald Trump is poised to roll back ambitious Obama-era vehicle mileage standards and raise the ceiling on damaging fossil fuel emissions for years to come. The Trump administration is expected to release a final rule Tuesday on mileage standards through 2026 which waters down a tough Obama mileage standard that would have encouraged automakers to ramp up production of electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient gas and diesel vehicles.
Read more: Climate change
How will we vote? Outbreak revives debate on mail-in ballots
As the coronavirus pandemic knocks several primary elections off schedule, Democrats argue the outbreak shows the country needs to move toward one of their longtime goals — widespread voting by mail — to protect the November election. But their hopes to expand voting by mail face firm Republican opposition, as well as significant logistical challenges. Democrats tried and failed to insert a broad mandate expanding voting by mail in the stimulus bill.
Read more: Primary elections
Judges slow abortion bans in Texas, Ohio, Alabama amid virus
Federal judges on Monday temporarily blocked efforts in Texas and Alabama to ban abortions during the pandemic, handing Planned Parenthood and abortion providers a victory. Clinics across the U.S. filed lawsuits to stop states from trying to shutter them during the outbreak. A new Ohio order is unconstitutional if it prevents abortions from being carried out, a separate judge ruled Monday, instructing clinics to determine abortion delays on a case-by-case basis.
Read More: Abortion
Macy’s, Kohl’s, Gap to furlough majority of their workers
Macy’s, Kohl’s and Gap Inc. all said Monday they will stop paying tens of thousands of employees who were thrown out of work when the chains temporarily closed their stores and sales collapsed as a result of the pandemic. Macy’s said the majority of its 125,000 employees will be furloughed this week, Kohl’s said furloughs will apply to 85,000 of its 120,000 employees and at Gap, furloughs affect nearly 80,000 out of 129,000 employees across all brands.
Read More: Business