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Photo: Nick Oxford for The Washington Post via Getty Images

"In Oklahoma, one of the poorest states, unemployment — which reached a record 14.7 percent in April — has pushed many to the point of desperation, with savings depleted, cars repossessed and homes sold for cash," the WashPost's Annie Gowen reports.

  • John Jolley, a 58-year-old single father, "arrived in the parking lot of the River Spirit Expo center in Tulsa around 9 p.m. on a sultry night" for one of the state's "mega-processing events."
  • "Dozens more sat in the parking lot overnight with Jolley, unable to get their questions answered through the unemployment agency’s overloaded phone system."

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

In the final week before Election Day, new coronavirus infections have soared to an all-time high — virtually guaranteeing that the pandemic will be the most prominent issue in America as voters prepare to choose the next president.

The big picture: Cases are surging and local hospitals are straining at the very moment that voters are choosing between President Trump, who continues to insist that the pandemic is almost over, and Joe Biden, who has made the crisis a centerpiece of his campaign.

Oct 29, 2020 - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated Oct 31, 2020 - Health

A new round of coronavirus shutdowns hits the U.S. and Europe

A couple wearing protective face masks ride their bicycle in a deserted street before the 9pm city-wide night time curfew during the coronavirus. Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Several U.S. cities and European governments imposed new restrictions Wednesday to curb the spikes in COVID-19 cases, such as closing restaurants, bars and limiting social gatherings.