nearly six million children out of poverty, “came to be part of the package because families that earn in the bottom third of the income distribution, or at least of the wage distribution, have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic,” said Cecilia Rouse, the chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Democrats and poverty researchers began laying the groundwork for many of those provisions years ago, amid economic changes that exposed holes in the safety net. When a 2015 book by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, “$2.00 a Day,” argued that rising numbers of families spent months with virtually no cash income, Mr. Brown arranged for all his Democratic Senate colleagues to receive a copy.

At the same time, many scholars shifted their focus from whether government benefits discouraged parents from working to whether the vagaries of a low-wage labor market left parents with adequate money to raise a child.

A growing body of academic research, which Obama administration officials began to herald shortly before leaving office, showed that a large proportion of children spent part of their childhood below the poverty line and that even short episodes of poverty left children less likely to prosper as adults. A landmark report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in 2019 found that aid programs left children better off.

“That allowed us to change the conversation,” away from the dangers of dependency “to the good these programs do,” said Hilary W. Hoynes, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who served on the committee that wrote the report.

cut child poverty from prepandemic levels among whites by 39 percent, Latinos by 45 percent and African-Americans by 52 percent.

“Covid exposed the fissures of systemic racism and systemic poverty that already existed,” said the Rev. William J. Barber II, who helps run the Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to get the needy more involved in electoral politics. “It forced a deeper conversation about poverty and wages in this country.”

White House officials and Democratic leaders in Congress say Mr. Biden’s rescue plan has now changed that conversation, creating momentum for permanent expansions of many of its antipoverty efforts. Multiple researchers project the bill will cut child poverty in half this year.

Democrats say they will turn that into an argument against Republicans who might oppose making the benefits permanent. “You’re voting for doubling the child poverty rate — you’re going to do that?” Mr. Brown said.

In selling the plan, Mr. Biden has blurred the lines between the poor and the middle class, treating them less as distinct groups with separate problems than as overlapping and shifting populations of people who were struggling with economic insecurity even before the pandemic. Last week, he at once talked of “millions of people out of work through no fault of their own” and cited the benefits his plan would bring to families with annual incomes of $100,000.

“This is part of why I think it is more transformational,” said Brian Deese, who heads Mr. Biden’s National Economic Council. “This is not just a targeted antipoverty program.”

In coming months, Democrats will face significant hurdles in making provisions like the child benefit permanent, including pressure from fiscal hawks to offset them by raising taxes or cutting other spending.

But the swift passage of even the temporary provisions has left many antipoverty experts delighted.

“A year ago, I would have said it was a pipe dream,” said Stacy Taylor, who tracks poverty policy for Fresh EBT by Propel, a phone application used by millions of food stamp recipients. “I can’t believe we’re going to have a guaranteed income for families with children.”

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Joshua Kushner of Thrive Capital Is Still Investing

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For most of its 12 years, Thrive Capital has been known as a fast-growing venture capital firm that struck some savvy deals, most famously an investment in Instagram that doubled in value within days.

But for the past four years or so, the firm and its 35-year-old founder, Joshua Kushner, has become just as well known for something unrelated to the fortunes of the fund: Mr. Kushner’s older brother, Jared, a top adviser and son-in-law to President Donald J. Trump.

Charles Kushner, was imprisoned for two years after pleading guilty to illegal campaign donations and witness tampering in 2005. The brothers have also done business together, co-investing in ventures like Cadre, a real-estate technology start-up. (The younger Mr. Kushner has never formally worked for the family’s real estate business.)

Jared Kushner divested his holdings in Thrive before joining the White House, and no member of the Trump family has invested in the firm, according to a person briefed on the matter. After leaving the White House, Jared has not invested in Thrive.

the Women’s March in 2017 and the March for Our Lives the next year. He has also mostly donated to Democrats over the years, including Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker.

His wife, the model Karlie Kloss, has been more openly critical of Mr. Trump, from elliptically referring to disagreements with her in-laws on talk shows to holding up a 2020 ballot while wearing a Biden-Harris face mask. (When a Twitter user pressed Ms. Kloss to chide her in-laws over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Mr. Trump’s baseless election conspiracy theories, the model responded, “I tried.”)

In private, Mr. Kushner has made his feelings clearer. Stewart Butterfield, the chief executive of Slack, recalled that shortly after the 2016 election, Mr. Kushner, whose fund invested in the workplace messaging firm earlier that year, called him.

“I don’t remember what he said exactly,” Mr. Butterfield said, “but it was a tactful way of saying, ‘These are not my positions.’”

a private event for Oscar in 2018, Mr. Kushner concluded a recap of the year’s challenges by quipping, “We survived Donald Trump.” He then added, “Don’t tweet that.”

bought a mansion in Miami last August; several months and one presidential election later, Jared and his wife bought a multimillion-dollar plot that is a short drive away.

Since founding Thrive in New York in 2009, at the age of 25, Mr. Kushner and his team built a reputation as low-key, nerdy investors who prefer sifting through balance sheets and strategy documents than pontificating on social media.

Mr. Kushner has also benefited from a high-powered network: Early backers included Princeton University and Peter Thiel, and in 2013, Thrive hired Jon Winkelried, a former president of Goldman Sachs who is now co-chief executive of the investment giant TPG, as a senior adviser. Employees include former staff members in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.

raised $2 billion for two new funds last month. The firm declined to comment on its financial performance. “They have been consistently a high performer in our portfolio,” is all that Mr. Walker of the Ford Foundation would reveal.

Thrive first focused on consumer-facing businesses like the eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker and the e-commerce platform Jet. Among its first blockbuster hits was Instagram, where it invested in 2012 at a $500 million valuation as part of a financing round, only to see Facebook agree to buy the social network for $1 billion 72 hours later.

Despite all the attention that later went on Mr. Kushner’s high-profile brother, Thrive didn’t appear to alter its approach in the Trump era. One big win was the sale of the online code repository Github to Microsoft in 2018. Thrive had invested $150 million in Github for a 9 percent stake; the company was sold for $7.5 billion.

In the waning days of the Trump administration, Thrive’s bets included becoming one of the first outside investors in Vimeo, the video platform owned by IAC, when it led a fund-raising round for the company at a $2.75 billion valuation in November. In January, Vimeo raised another round, at a $6 billion valuation.

Thrive was “a bit of an underdog” when Vimeo was vetting investors, said Anjali Sud, the company’s chief executive. But she was won over by what she called “this insanely dense, nuanced analysis of Vimeo and our market.”

Since then, she said, she texts or calls someone from Thrive most days for advice or guidance as it prepares to be spun off from IAC this year.

run for president in 2024, and Jared could again serve as one of his top advisers. That would renew the tests of loyalty and related complications that the younger Mr. Kushner may have thought were behind him.

What do you think? Will Joshua Kushner’s family ties always loom over his ventures? Let us know:

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How U.S. Ratings of Nursing Homes Mislead the Public

The pandemic laid bare the flaws in the government rating system.

The state health inspections do little to penalize homes with poor records of preventing and controlling infections. From 2017 to 2019, The Times found, inspectors cited nearly 60 percent — more than 2,000 — of the country’s five-star facilities at least once for not following basic safety precautions, like regular hand washing. Yet they earned top ratings.

In San Bernardino, Calif., inspectors wrote up Del Rosa Villa for four different infection-control violations. It kept its five stars. Ninety residents at the 104-bed facility have contracted the coronavirus, and 13 have died.

Del Rosa Villa officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Life Care Centers of Kirkland, Wash., the first nursing home in the United States to have documented coronavirus cases, was found in 2019 to have weak infection controls, despite its five stars. State inspectors wrote it up for failing to “consistently implement an effective infection control program.”

Thirty-nine of the facility’s residents have died from Covid-19. The home has 190 beds.

Leigh Atherton, a Life Care spokeswoman, said that citation was the only lapse in infection control that inspectors had identified over 32 previous visits. She said the home quickly fixed the problem.

If the rating system worked as intended, it would have offered clues as to which homes were most likely to have out-of-control outbreaks and which homes would probably muddle through.

That is not what happened.

The Times found that there was little if any correlation between star ratings and how homes fared during the pandemic. At five-star facilities, the death rate from Covid-19 was only half a percentage point lower than at facilities that received lower ratings. And the death rate was slightly lower at two-star facilities than at four-star homes.

A facility’s location, the infection rate of the surrounding community and the race of nursing home residents all were predictors of whether a nursing home would suffer an outbreak. The star ratings didn’t matter.

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Here Are 17 Reasons to Let The Economic Optimism Begin

That’s essentially what has happened in the last few decades as China has gone from being isolated to being deeply integrated in the world economy. When the country joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, its population of 1.28 billion was bigger than that of the combined 34 advanced countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (1.16 billion).

But that was a one-time adjustment, and wages are rising rapidly in China as it moves beyond low-end manufacturing and toward more sophisticated goods. India, the only other country with comparable population, is already well integrated into the world economy. To the degree globalization continues, it should be a more gradual process.

9. There’s only one Mexico

For years, American workers were also coming into competition with lower-earning Mexicans after enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. As with China, the new dynamic improved the long-term economic prospects for the United States, but in the short run it was bad for many American factory workers.

But it too was a one-time adjustment. Even before President Trump, trade agreements under negotiation were for the most part no longer focused on making it easier to import from low- labor-cost countries. The main aim was to improve trade rules for American companies doing business in other rich countries.

10. The offshoring revolution is mostly played out

Once upon a time, if you were an American company that needed to operate a customer service call center or carry out some labor-intensive information technology work, you had no real choice but to hire a bunch of Americans to do it. The emergence of inexpensive, instant global telecommunication changed that, allowing you to put work wherever costs were the lowest.

In the first decade of the 2000s, American companies did just that on mass scale, locating work in countries like India and the Philippines. It’s a slightly different version of the earlier analogy involving the farm; a customer service operator in Kansas was suddenly in competition with millions of lower-earning Indians for a job.

But it’s not as if the internet can be invented a second time.

Sensing a theme here? In the early years of the 21st century, a combination of globalization and technological advancements put American workers in competition with billions of workers around the world.

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Which Families Will Receive the Most Money From the Stimulus Bill?

The Covid-19 relief legislation signed by President Biden on Thursday includes a larger increase in direct aid to families than in any other pandemic relief bills passed so far — an average of $6,660 for households with children, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

estimates, the bill could cut child poverty in half this year.

The bill accomplishes this in primarily two ways: a significant increase in stimulus payments per child, and a larger child tax credit that will benefit the lowest-income families in particular.

The coming stimulus checks are larger for adults than in the first two rounds — $1,400 per adult, compared with $1,200 per adult in a bill passed in March 2020 and $600 per adult in December. The same income thresholds apply for receiving the full amount: $75,000 for singles, $112,500 for heads of households and $150,000 for married couples, though the check amounts phase out much faster for earners above those levels.

The biggest increase is for children and other dependents. In the first two rounds, taxpayers received $500 and then $600 for each dependent child. This round includes $1,400 for each dependent child and adult dependent, which includes college students.

And unlike in previous rounds of stimulus, the child tax credit has been increased. It is now worth $3,600 per child under 5 and $3,000 per older child, from $2,000 per child. Low-income families will benefit the most, because they will now be eligible for the full amount, even if their tax liability is very low.

Previously, parents could deduct the $2,000-per-child credit from their tax liability. If they did not pay that much in taxes, they could be eligible to receive up to $1,400 as a refundable credit. Now, all parents will receive the full amount, with half of the value of the credit issued in advance beginning in July.

Income thresholds for the full child tax credit are the same as for the stimulus payments. The credits fully phase out for unmarried taxpayers earning $240,000 or more, and for married couples earning $440,000.

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China’s Dr. Fauci, Dr. Zhang Wenhong, Urges Restraint in Fighting Covid-19

China has imposed some of the toughest lockdowns in the world to stop Covid-19. One city sealed apartment doors, leaving residents with dwindling food and medicine. One village tied a local to a tree after he left home to buy cigarettes. Beijing forced people to leave their pets behind when they went into quarantine.

Few officials spoke up against the excesses, given the central government’s obsession with its anti-coronavirus campaign. That hasn’t stopped Dr. Zhang Wenhong.

Dr. Zhang, an infectious-disease specialist and perhaps China’s most trusted voice on Covid-19, has spoken out publicly against excessive lockdowns, though he hasn’t criticized individual cities. Fighting the pandemic, he likes to say, is like “catching mice in a china shop.”

“We hope that our pandemic prevention measures won’t affect public life too much,” Dr. Zhang wrote on Jan. 24, after a second wave of infections prompted tough clampdowns.

video a few days later, “life would be too hard.”

Dr. Zhang may be China’s closest analogue to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the American infectious-disease specialist who became the public face of stopping the coronavirus amid the chaos of the Trump administration. A consummate technocrat, Dr. Zhang comes across as neither political nor ideological. Yet, by offering his expert opinions straight, he pushes back against the authoritarian instinct in a system that often overreacts with draconian measures.

A top academic at Fudan University in Shanghai and a member of the Communist Party, Dr. Zhang led Shanghai’s expert panel on Covid-19, giving him considerable authority over the city’s response.

propaganda, conspiracy theories and crude nationalism.

viewed more than 860 million times on his department’s official WeChat account alone.

Maintaining a high profile in China often requires discretion. Late last year, Jack Ma, the technology billionaire, publicly criticized regulators. The authorities quickly swooped down on his business empire.

Dr. Zhang doesn’t challenge the government, but neither does he always toe the official line. Late last year, some Chinese officials pointed to findings that the virus had been found on the packaging of imported food, suggesting that the coronavirus may have been brought to China from overseas. Dr. Zhang has told his audience not to worry about it: “The chance of catching the virus from imported goods,” he said, “is lower than dying in a plane crash.”

“I’m not going to hide the information because I’m worried that I could say something wrong and cause some controversies,” he said over the summer. “We always share what we know.”

responded that protein helps build the immune system.

Still, he has kept a high profile without drawing major ire from the government or sustained criticism from the nationalists. Some of that stems from China’s pride in quickly containing the coronavirus. Dr. Zhang, who played a role in that, has won a number of awards from official groups.

In watching his speeches, I found another key to his sustained appeal. In his impromptu speech at a national teaching award ceremony in September, he said the essence of education is acknowledging human dignity. Mr. Zhang appeals to the humanity of his audience and, by admitting his own foibles, shows the authorities and the public that he is merely human, too.

In one speech, he mentioned that some victims of avian flu had caught it from taking care of their infected loved ones, and that female patients were more likely to infect their doting mothers than their absent husbands. “At that moment,” he told the audience, “I lost faith in romantic love.”

said, “I would have worked on my deltoid.”

interview last June, a reporter asked him whether anybody had reminded him to be mindful of his status as an expert and the head of an expert government panel.

“People are smart,” he responded. “They know whether you’re telling them truth or lies.”

When he gets public accolades, he often uses the occasion to highlight his causes, like more funding for infectious-disease research and for increasing the public awareness of tuberculosis and hepatitis B, two of the most common infectious diseases in China.

He also talks about people who deserved more attention, like the women among the pandemic responders whose role has often taken a back seat to the men’s in the media. “Men are on camera more,” he said at a forum on the subject, “but women did more work.”

Then he turned to the female medical workers, and bowed.

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How Your 2020 Taxes Are Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic

You’ll need to know how much you’ve already received to claim the credit; If you don’t have the notices detailing the amounts (Notice 1444 for the first stimulus payment and 1444-B, for the second), you can find the information by setting up an individual online account. (Spouses filing jointly will have separate accounts.)

The quickest way to receive the credit is by filing a tax return electronically and having the money direct deposited, even if you don’t need to file otherwise. If you earn $72,000 or less, you can do it free through the I.R.S. Free File program.

It’s possible, particularly if your financial situation or status changed last year.

The recovery credit on the 2020 return is based on an individual’s 2020 tax year information, while the second stimulus payment was based on the 2019 tax year. (For the first stimulus check, the I.R.S. said, a 2018 return may have been used if the 2019 one was not filed or processed.) So if your income dropped in 2020, and you didn’t receive the full amount, you could potentially receive more.

The same goes for changes in life circumstances. If you had a child in 2020, for example, you may be eligible for more money, or maybe you’re no longer a dependent on your parents’ tax return (and were in 2019), which may make you eligible.

Undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers are ineligible for payments — and the CARES Act, the $2 trillion relief package signed into law in late March, also prevented most spouses and children from receiving checks as well, even if they were U.S. citizens.

The December relief bill changed that, at least in part. Now, married couples filing joint returns may be eligible to recover payments for a spouse who has a valid Social Security number, the I.R.S. said. Each child with a Social Security number is also eligible for payments.

To determine if you qualify, use the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet or tax preparation software.

The latest relief package includes another stimulus payment of up to $1,400. The I.R.S. will calculate payments based on your most recent tax return.

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Cathie Wood called this one of her most underappreciated stocks. Its CEO explains its growth story

Shares of Invitae rose over 25% this week, a sharp move higher that came after Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood called the company one of her most underappreciated stocks in a CNBC interview on Monday.

Invitae was the 11th-largest holding in Wood’s flagship fund, the Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), as of Thursday, giving it a weighting larger than better-known companies such as DocuSign and PayPal.

The closely watched investor and her firm are known for their strategy of investing around “disruptive innovation,” and a strong performance last year has caused billions of new dollars to flow into Ark’s family of funds.

In a CNBC interview Friday, the CEO of Invitae explained the genetic-testing company’s mission and long-term goals, offering insight into why Wood is bullish on its prospects.

“Genetic information is of fundamental importance in improving people’s health-care outcomes and lowering costs, and we are relentlessly pursuing the idea of getting that information into mainstream medical care, everyday use,” Sean George said on “Closing Bell.” He co-founded the San Francisco-based firm in 2010, and it went public in 2015.

Invitae reported full-year revenues of $279.6 million in 2020, up from $216.8 million in the prior year. Its net loss widened $608.9 million last year, compared with $242 million in 2019.

While genetic information can be a powerful tool in combating various maladies, George said high costs have historically limited its availability and, by extension, the impact it can have. However, he said, recent gene-sequencing innovations have laid the groundwork for more accessibility. He likened it to semiconductor improvements helping kickstart the computing and networking industry in the 1970s and early ’80s.

“That has enabled … application providers like us … to change what has fundamentally been in the past a rationed good in health care — genetic information, kind of in a niche, test-by-test, sample-by-sample lab industry set up — to something that looks much more like an information industry,” George said.

George, who has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, said Invitae hopes to get its tests to the point where patients and doctors can use them proactively in large numbers. That way, even if the cost of each test is cheaper, Invitae will have the scale to generate enough operating cash to thrive as a company, he said.

“The massive importance and central importance of genetic information in health care is about to — I’m certain in the next five to 10 years — is about to come front and center as an ability to get the right therapy earlier to individuals that can benefit, identify people at risk, and put in place monitoring and prevention modalities to certainly delay, if not even prevent, the onset of disease and generally provide a core understanding of risk that runs in families,” he added.

Ark Invest has positions in a range of companies working on medical innovation beyond Invitae. Wood’s firm has an ETF dedicated to it, called the Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG). As of Thursday, it includes Teladoc, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics. Invitae also is in that fund, currently as its 16th biggest holding.

Shares of Invitae closed Friday’s session down 0.5% at $42.70. Despite the stock’s big gains this week, it remains below its all-time high of $61.59, on Dec. 14. It has rallied almost 260% in the past 12 months.

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