A rural hospital in Washington state earlier this month. Photo: Nick Otto/Washington Post via Getty Images

Hospital executives are urging the federal government to approve a cash influx as soon as possible, because many fear the coronavirus outbreak will force them to miss payroll and potentially shutter their doors.

What they're saying: "If we don't get some assistance in the next two weeks, we will have to begin to have a conversation ... that we will no longer to be able to be in business, and that we will have to close the hospital," J. Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers Hospital and North Valley Hospital in Washington state, told reporters Saturday.

Where it stands: The American Hospital Association is asking the federal government for a $100 billion bailout, as well as a waiver of the 2% Medicare cuts that were mandated through sequestration in 2013.

  • Congress is working again today to figure out what a final package for hospitals could look like.
  • But it's unclear if rural and safety net hospitals that are most in need of cash would get most of the bailout funds. Tom Nickels, a top lobbyist with the AHA, said federal aid could be pooled into a common stabilization fund for all hospitals.

Go deeper: Coronavirus threatens rural hospitals, from Kaiser Health News

Go deeper

Updated Aug 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

A coalition of 156 countries agreed Monday to a "landmark" agreement aimed at the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe, the World Health Organization announced Monday.

The big picture: 64 higher-income countries, including European Union members, are among the signatories to the deal, known as "COVAX." The U.S. is not participating in the scheme.

Updated Aug 9, 2020 - World

Brazil coronavirus death toll tops 100,000 and case numbers surpass 3 million

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

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