President Donald Trump continues to lead the nation on the coronavirus threat, comparing the effort to “wartime” and invoking the Defense Production Act which will enable him to turn normal manufacturing to crisis priorities.
As of Wednesday morning there were 6,519 cases and 114 deaths nationwide.
The Senate has also passed the coronavirus bill and has sent it to the president for signature. It provides 14 days paid sick leave, free virus testing to all, and expands food and unemployment aid to states. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also has suspended foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.
Further legislation is pending that could see a $1 trillion (yes, trillion) stimulus bill soon on the president’s desk for him to sign. Estimates have the individual payment somewhere between $1000-2000 per person.
In other coronavirus news:
- The president extended travel limitations to Canada.
- 80% of virus deaths are reported in those 65 and older.
- The USAF flew 500,000 test kits into the nation from overseas stockpiles.
- The National Guard has been deployed in 23 states.
- The stock market fell over 1,300 points on Wednesday. It is now below 20,000 and all Trump-era gains have been wiped out.
- Oil prices continue to fall to close to $25.00 for a barrel of Texas crude. That could aid consumers, as $1.00 a gallon prices at the pump may be near. But it will do no favors to the oil industry and the many employed by it.
- Republicans are hopeful for a speedy vaccine by almost 2 to 1 over Democrats, as measured in a recent poll.
- The president may use expanded emergency powers to completely close the southern border.
- North Korea continues to say it has no virus cases, but is building a hospital to house virus patients.
- Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler have suspended production to safeguard workers.
- The Italian death toll will soon surpass that of China.
- The death rate has been much higher in nations with socialized healthcare like China, Italy, and Iran.
- All 50 U.S. states are now affected by the virus.