Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said at an Axios virtual event Wednesday that the next coronavirus relief package needs to be as "narrowly focused" on COVID-specific issues as possible in order to resolve the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

Why it matters: Democrats and negotiators from the Trump administration remain far apart on a deal for the next tranche of relief. The fraught negotiations come as millions of Americans continue to suffer from the health and economic effects of the pandemic without the unemployment benefits from the first stimulus bill.

The big picture: Lankford called the $3 trillion bill passed by House Democrats in March a liberal "wish list," arguing that the package should be targeted at vaccines, treatments, schools, small businesses, and providing liability protections to universities and businesses.

  • He pointed out that much like the coronavirus itself, the economic impacts of the pandemic have affected different businesses in different ways.
  • Some, like grocery stores, have seen record revenue, while others, like restaurants and travel companies, have been forced into bankruptcy.

What he's saying: "There shouldn't be a focus on giving everyone 100%. ... We can't do that," Lankford said. "Whatever package we put out next, we should treat it like we treat the virus."

  • "Remember, this is other people's money we're dealing with. This is not just invented money. It's borrowed from the future or it's taken from your next-door neighbor in tax dollars, so let's target it to what we need, in the areas that need it, and not just do a blanket amount to everybody."

What to watch: Lankford said lawmakers hope to reach an agreement in days, not weeks.

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Updated 8 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

France's second wave "is arriving faster than we thought" as coronavirus cases surge, the head of the National Council of the Order of Doctors said Sunday, per AFP.

The big picture: France's health service confirmed 14,412 new cases Saturday, less than the record 16,000 reported Thursday and Friday. "But over the last seven days, 4,102 people have been hospitalized, 763 of whom are being treated in intensive care," AFP notes.

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

23 hours ago - Health

U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases

Flags on the Washington National Mall on Sept. 22, each representing 1,000 people killed from the virus. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

The United States reported 55,054 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: It was the highest single-day increase since August 14, when the country reported 64,350 new cases over a 24-hour span, and suggests that the U.S. has yet to contain the spread of the virus.