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Check the status of your stimulus check here; Fauci says Trump could help fight vaccination hesitancy: Live COVID-19 updates

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Those anxiously awaited stimulus payments and vaccinations should be accelerating this week as the U.S. gains ground on the relentless pandemic.

Now the nation just needs former President Donald Trump to help out, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.

As vaccines become available, vaccine hesitancy is becoming a major concern. A recent new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found 41% of Republicans saying they would not get one of the three federally approved coronavirus vaccines, compared to less than 15% of Democrats. Fauci appared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where host Chuck Todd suggested President Joe Biden should convince Trump to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

“I hope he does because the numbers that you gave are so disturbing,” Fauci saidl “It makes absolutely no sense. And I’ve been saying that for so long. We’ve got to dissociate political persuasion from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things.”

Those anxiously awaited stimulus payments and vaccinations should be accelerating this week as the U.S. gains ground on the relentless pandemic.

Now the nation just needs former President Donald Trump to help out, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.

As vaccines become available, vaccine hesitancy is becoming a major concern. A recent new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found 41% of Republicans saying they would not get one of the three federally approved coronavirus vaccines, compared to less than 15% of Democrats. Fauci appared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where host Chuck Todd suggested President Joe Biden should convince Trump to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

“I hope he does because the numbers that you gave are so disturbing,” Fauci saidl “It makes absolutely no sense. And I’ve been saying that for so long. We’ve got to dissociate political persuasion from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things.”

Those $1,400 stimulus payments should start hitting this week. It’s expected that March 17 would be the effective date when the Treasury actually transfers the money, according to industry experts. More than 100 million payments are expected to be payable on March 17 via direct deposit. You can check the status of your payment here.

►After being canceled last year by the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is back in 2021. It starts with Selection Sunday, when the field of 68 teams will be announced.

►Residents in more than a dozen California counties woke up Sunday morning to eased business restrictions. State officials loosened the requirements necessary to move out of the most restrictive tiers in California’s reopening system due to increased vaccinations in hard-hit communities up and down the state.

►The U.S. has surpassed 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots and the World Health Organization reported 300 million global shots have been administered.

Some stimulus checks sent to wrong bank accounts
Some Americans say their stimulus checks are being deposited in the wrong bank accounts, forcing many of them to wait longer for the badly needed aid after struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those taxpayers were surprised to see that the last four digits of their bank account numbers were incorrect when they checked their payment status on the IRS website, an issue that happened during the first two rounds of direct payments when technical glitches from third-party tax preparers caused delays for many filers.

“I’m very frustrated. I have so many bills to pay,” said Lori Young, 52, in Camden, South Carolina. “I have a steady income with my Social Security, but I have a lot of medical issues. I was relying on these stimulus checks to help me pay off my bills.”

– Jessica Menton

Here’s how to find out when your stimulus payment will come
You can now find out when your next stimulus payment is expected to hit your bank account or get mailed. The IRS updated the “Get My Payment” tool on its website with information on the third round of stimulus checks Saturday, agency spokesperson Karen Connelly confirmed to USA TODAY. Check for your status here. The third round of Economic Impact Payments will be based on a taxpayer’s latest processed tax return from either 2020 or 2019. That includes anyone who used the IRS non-filers tool last year, or submitted a special simplified tax return.

– Kelly Tyko

A year later, docs treating COVID ‘still flying blind’
Treatment for the sickest patients has improved since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic a year ago, but about 20% of patients sick enough to be hospitalized still end up in intensive care. That figure that hasn’t changed in the last year, said Dr. Kevin Tracey, a neurosurgeon and president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Doctors on the front lines say the care they’re giving is clearly better than it was a year ago, if only because the disease is better understood and hospitals aren’t overflowing with desperately sick patients. But death rates remain concerningly high in ICUs, Tracey said.

Some stimulus checks sent to wrong bank accounts
Some Americans say their stimulus checks are being deposited in the wrong bank accounts, forcing many of them to wait longer for the badly needed aid after struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those taxpayers were surprised to see that the last four digits of their bank account numbers were incorrect when they checked their payment status on the IRS website, an issue that happened during the first two rounds of direct payments when technical glitches from third-party tax preparers caused delays for many filers.

“I’m very frustrated. I have so many bills to pay,” said Lori Young, 52, in Camden, South Carolina. “I have a steady income with my Social Security, but I have a lot of medical issues. I was relying on these stimulus checks to help me pay off my bills.”

– Jessica Menton

Here’s how to find out when your stimulus payment will come
You can now find out when your next stimulus payment is expected to hit your bank account or get mailed. The IRS updated the “Get My Payment” tool on its website with information on the third round of stimulus checks Saturday, agency spokesperson Karen Connelly confirmed to USA TODAY. Check for your status here. The third round of Economic Impact Payments will be based on a taxpayer’s latest processed tax return from either 2020 or 2019. That includes anyone who used the IRS non-filers tool last year, or submitted a special simplified tax return.

– Kelly Tyko

A year later, docs treating COVID ‘still flying blind’
Treatment for the sickest patients has improved since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic a year ago, but about 20% of patients sick enough to be hospitalized still end up in intensive care. That figure that hasn’t changed in the last year, said Dr. Kevin Tracey, a neurosurgeon and president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Doctors on the front lines say the care they’re giving is clearly better than it was a year ago, if only because the disease is better understood and hospitals aren’t overflowing with desperately sick patients. But death rates remain concerningly high in ICUs, Tracey said.

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