U.S. senators should stop playing politics with America’s hungry children

The surge in COVID-19 cases across Florida and the nation, coupled with the looming expiration of federal benefits programs, mean many families are worried about the future. Perhaps most immediate for some Floridians is the fear of food insecurity and the likelihood that they will not be able to provide their families with nutritious meals. All of us are questioning when this “storm will run out of rain,” The future lies in the hands of our representatives in Congress, who just returned to work this week.

In too many households, even pre-COVID, the cumulative cost of housing, childcare, food, transportation and healthcare didn’t leave room for savings or unexpected expenses. COVID has created extreme financial stress and missed meals, exacerbating these worsening circumstances and putting millions of families at risk. A study from Northwestern University indicates that, despite government aid that has kept unemployment figures steady, food insecurity has doubled,

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Anti-Trump ads are all the rage. But they work better as comedy than politics

Commercials sell dreams — good dreams, bad dreams, sometimes both at once. Advertising, which runs the world to an extraordinary extent, is powered by hope and fear, drawing you toward the light, chasing you with darkness — the hope for the good life the product promises, the fear that without it, you’re sunk. Use this cream and become beautiful; buy this car and be a man; take this pill and live forever. Vote for me and all will be well; vote for my opponent and open the Hellmouth.

Nowadays, of course, many feel that the Hellmouth is open about as wide as it can go. The chaotic singularity of the Trump administration (and the moderate acceptability of Joe Biden) has led to organized opposition from within the ranks of the Republican party, groups with names like the Right Side PAC and Republican Voters Against Trump, which counts conservative columnist Bill

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The Spin: Politics and Chicago’s hazardous air pollution | Ald. Carrie Austin says she has COVID-19

With no COVID-19 vaccine or surefire treatment in sight, the Chicago Marathon has been canceled for the second time in its history.

It comes as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot watch spikes in cases across the country and offer their own reminders that people should wear a mask and take other measures as we see a slow rise in new cases here.

And we’re some 130 days away from the November election, but COVID-19 is already leaving its print on the ballot box in Chicago, where a record 121,000 voters have requested mail-in ballots.

And, if it makes any difference, Chicago’s Chance the Rapper is endorsing fellow Chicago musician and onetime MAGA-hat-wearing Kanye West’s long shot presidential bid.

My colleague Michael Hawthorne examines how Chicago just notched its longest streak of lung-damaging, life-shortening high-pollution days in more than a decade. While the Trump administration has agreed, on some

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Virus spread, not politics should guide schools, doctors say

As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher.

They’re urging a more cautious approach, which many local governments and school districts are already pursuing.

There are too many uncertainties and variables, they say, for back-to-school to be back-to-normal.

Where is the virus spreading rapidly? Do students live with aged grandparents? Do teachers have high-risk health conditions that would make online teaching safest? Do infected children easily spread COVID-19 to each other and to adults?

Regarding the latter, some evidence suggests they don’t, but a big government study aims to find better proof. Results won’t be available before the fall, and some schools are slated to reopen in just a few weeks.

“These are complicated issues. You can’t just charge straight ahead,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of

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