Once again, the stock market has continued to move upward. The key factor was the completion of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package in the Senate. The next step is for it to go to the House for their approval, where it is expected to be quickly passed. President Trump has already said that he will sign it.
Once signed, the questions that need to be asked are: how soon can the money be distributed to where it needs to go and is it going to be enough? While many believe that it will help, many others believe that it will have limited effect – in light of what is happening with coronavirus. Pelosi has said that more money may be forthcoming if needed.
An Open Controversy
President Trump’s plan to have the nation go back to work by Easter is causing quite a stir. While some are saying that it will only cause a larger problem and cause more deaths because that plan will cause it to spread uncontrollably fast, others are saying that seniors ought to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the economy. Dr. Fauci, the top expert in infectious diseases advising the President, commented that people are not likely going to return to work once they see what is happening with the ongoing spread of coronavirus.
New York City is the Epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S.
The hotspot for coronavirus in the U.S. is New York City. They have a desperate shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers. Already there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases in the city and 280 deaths have occurred. There are thousands of more cases in the surrounding areas. There still is a shortage of lifesaving equipment such as ventilators but Elon Musk, auto companies, and others should start providing more soon. The stimulus plan designates $4 billion to the city for medical needs.
The city is converting the city’s main civic center – the Javits Center – into a 1,000-bed medical station to meet the expected demand in the next two or three weeks. In order to draw on more medical staff, Governor Cuomo gave a directive to the medical schools in the city to get more physicians into the system faster. In response, 69 students at New York University that were expected to graduate in July will graduate in April and enter their hospital internships.
A Serious Threat
More and more people now consider coronavirus to be more serious than was previously thought. A recent survey revealed that the majority of Republicans (63%) and Democrats (76%) now believe it to be a real threat.
The Finished Package
The completed economic rescue package is going to:
- Make one payment of $1,200 per adult and an additional $500 per child directly to families and individuals. The first payments may come out around April 6th.
- Hospitals will be given billions of dollars to help meet their needs. The money will be supplied through FEMA.
- Employees that have been furloughed will have their salary replaced for four months. It will be based on what their state provides for being unemployed, plus an additional $600.
- Money will also be given to help the airline industry and other transit services. There are strong stipulations about how the money will be used.
- The document also prevents President Trump, the Vice-President, their family members, and members of Congress and other top officials, from benefiting from any of the money.
- An increased demand for food stamps is anticipated soon and there was $15.5 billion designated to meet that need.
Other governments are also enacting their versions of the economic stimulus plan due to their failing economies because of coronavirus. They include Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Canada.