Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Administration Seeks $850 Billion Stimulus – The New York Times
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The Trump administration will ask for an $850 billion package to counter economic fallout.
The Trump administration is preparing to ask for about $850 billion in additional stimulus to support the economy, which is facing a deep downturn as businesses close as coronavirus spreads.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, is expected to make the pitch for additional fiscal firepower on Tuesday to Republican senators, some of whom have been hesitant to embrace the legislation that the House passed last week, according to people familiar with the plans. A centerpiece of the proposal is the payroll tax cut that President Trump has been calling for.
The Trump administration is also supportive of a request for $50 billion in economic relief for the airline industry. The industry’s lobbying group publicly made the request on Monday, asking for grants, loan guarantees and tax relief.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, laid out the administration’s fiscal stimulus approach on Monday and said that it would amount to about $800 billion.
Mr. Kudlow and Mr. Mnuchin are also considering an array of other proposals to help individuals and small and medium-sized businesses.
The Treasury Department is expected to outline plans for delaying tax filing and payments without penalties beyond April 15.
Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak
The virus has infected more than 182,100 people in at least 140 countries.
Restrictions tighten in U.S. and around the world as leaders scramble to face a new reality.
More than seven million residents in the San Francisco Bay Area have been ordered to mostly confine themselves to their homes, joining the ranks of Italy, Spain, France and China.
“It’s bad,” President Trump conceded, as financial markets tanked and economists warned of a steep recession that might already be underway.
“We are at war,” President Emmanuel Macron of France told his people.
The enemy is invisible and insidious, gathering strength from the bonds of human connection. So public health officials were asking people the world over to sever those ties.
While nations, states and localities offered differing restrictions with varying degrees of enforcement, the message was coalescing around a simple if daunting challenge: Keep your distance.
In the United States, the Trump administration warned against gatherings of more than 10 people, and asked citizens to work from home if possible and avoid unnecessary travel. Bars and restaurants should be avoided, or closed in areas where the virus was rapidly spreading, officials said.
‘Our Lives Are at Stake’: U.S. Residents Scramble to Find Coronavirus Testing
Since March 3, the Trump administration has said coronavirus testing is available to all. But people across the country told us that’s not the case.
“It started for me with a pretty severe sore throat.” “I started to feel symptomatic five days after traveling.” “It’s different than the bronchitis that I’ve gotten before.” “Everything had kind of settled in my lungs. And I was just coughing a ton.” “I had a headache and felt feverish.” “It felt like I had a bowling ball on my chest. Nobody’s willing to see me, and nobody has the test kit and even C.D.C. is refusing to test me.” “I traced back, you know, my wife, she works at Amazon. They had a confirmed case.” “Four different planes in four different airports. So I don’t know who sat next to me or who I was in contact with.” “It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” “We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down. Not up.” “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.” “We have a president saying anyone who wants tests can get a test. And I’m thinking, That is so not true.” “It was just interesting, because there was this kind of gray area for a while of people who felt like they were really sick and should have been tested just as, even as a rule out. And the state of Washington just did not have the capacity to do that, because the government had not supported us at that point essentially.” “I got through to public health after about an hour, and they told me that I did not meet the criteria for being tested.” “They said, ‘There’s no way to get tested. We don’t have tests right now. There’s nothing set up in Delaware.’” “I looked at the C.D.C. website and it said, call your doctor if you have the symptoms. So I called the doctor’s office and they told me to go to an urgent care facility. I called an urgent care facility and they said that there’s nothing that they can do. And they don’t have the tests. And they told me to go to the E.R. And I called a hospital, and they told me that they don’t have the test either.” “I just felt like I was getting the run-around. It was clearly obvious that they just are under capacity, and they’re not able to test.” “I eventually just gave up because, at that point, the testing criteria was so strict. It was, you travel to China or have you been in contact with someone known diagnosed Covid. And I didn’t meet any of that.” “As a nurse in an E.R., it’s pretty vital if I have an infectious disease that I know what it is because I could be spreading it to people who are really vulnerable.” “I actually work in a building that’s a fairly public place. There’s people of every generation coming in there. There’s a private school there. There’s a senior center.” “Southwest Florida is full of elders. There is a lot of snowbirds coming here. They’re all in their 70s and 80s. I cannot get myself, like I cannot convince my conscience to leave the house just thinking about that, Hey you went grocery shopping and now like five people died. So I just self quarantined myself and basically started working from home.” “We stocked up on food items as much as possible. I bought a 25 pound bag of rice. We bought beans. We got ready basically just to hunker down for those two weeks. At this point, I’m telling people like make — if you have a decision to make, think about survival and make the decision based on survival for yourself, your family and your community.” “We knew this was coming. The federal government is just completely bungling this, and our lives are at stake. I feel like they’re just leaving us here to die in Seattle.” “The most overwhelming feeling was you are on your own.” “I’m just really concerned for those that this is going to affect the hardest. And I think we pretty much failed at early testing, early containment. We had more time than other governments.”
Since March 3, the Trump administration has said coronavirus testing is available to all. But people across the country told us that’s not the case.
The guidelines apply for the next 15 days, but President Trump warned that the restrictions could grow more stringent and last well into summer. While the rate of infections has declined steeply in China, for instance, many of the harsh limits on movement there are still in place after more than six weeks.
The stepped-up action in the United States was driven, in part, by a report compiled by British researchers warning that 2.2 million people could die in the country in the absence of strong action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of the virus.
New Jersey residents have been asked not to leave their homes from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. A curfew is being considered for New York City.
In Italy, the scale of the epidemic is evident in the bodies left behind. With the oldest population in Europe, the country has suffered more than 2,100 deaths, and hospitals and morgues are inundated.
The European Union proposed a 30-day shutdown of nonessential travel into the bloc from other countries — an urgent attempt to keep internal borders as open as possible to promote European solidarity. But on Tuesday, nations within the bloc continued to close themselves off from their neighbors.
After yet another devastating day on Wall Street on Monday, the Asian markets stabilized on Tuesday. But fears that the crisis could lead to a recession grew. The price of oil fell below $30 a barrel, its lowest level in four years.
Around the world, around 180,000 cases have been reported. More than 7,000 people have died. But more than 80,000 people have recovered.
Wall Street attempts a rebound from its worst day of the year.
Stocks were unsteady on Tuesday, as Wall Street attempted a rebound from its sharpest drop since the outbreak of the coronavirus while investors waited for lawmakers to act to protect the economy from a recession that may have already begun.
The early gains faded quickly, with the S&P 500 slipping back into negative territory soon after trading began. Stock benchmarks in Europe were mostly lower on Tuesday.
The S&P 500 had fallen 12 percent on Monday, in what was also its biggest decline since the stock market crash of 1987.
Financial markets have been reeling as investors sharply ratchet down their expectations for the economy and look to the White House and Congress to help businesses and workers threatened by efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
There are few historical parallels for the shock waves created by the outbreak. From still-closed factories in China to Western nations where millions of people are living in a state of semi-house arrest, most of the engines that keep the global economy aloft have simultaneously sputtered to a halt.
So far, the biggest measures have come from the Federal Reserve, which has slashed interest rates to near zero and announced other emergency measures to ensure the financial system keeps functioning.
But the Fed hasn’t calmed investors’ nerves, and Washington has yet to authorize a large-scale plan to help.
“The Fed has a lot of tools in its tool kit. A vaccine isn’t one of them,” said Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of global fixed income at BlackRock. “And I think the markets are realizing that it’s going to be uncertain for a period of time.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to make a pitch to Republican senators for additional fiscal firepower on Tuesday, with the Trump administration preparing to ask for about $850 billion in additional stimulus to support the economy.
The outgoing White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, is in self-quarantine.
Mick Mulvaney, the outgoing acting White House chief of staff, is in self-quarantine in his home state of South Carolina, after his niece, with whom he shares an apartment with in Washington, fell ill and is awaiting test results, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Mulvaney took a test for the coronavirus last week and the results were negative, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. But the results of the test that his niece, Maggie, took are not back yet, the person said.
Mr. Mulvaney’s niece is a professional fund-raiser who works on a team led by Kimberly Guilfoyle, the head of the Trump Victory finance effort. Ms. Mulvaney, Ms. Guilfoyle and others were all at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s private club, the weekend of March 6 for a series of events, including a Republican National Committee fund-raising retreat and Ms. Guilfoyle’s 50th birthday party.
The same weekend, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil dined with Mr. Trump. One of Mr. Bolsonaro’s aides who was present has since tested positive for coronavirus.
Ms. Mulvaney fell ill soon after returning from the weekend, according to three of the people briefed on the matter. She was tested for the virus early last week, but the results still haven’t come back, people familiar with the matter said.
Ms. Mulvaney and people close to her had hoped to avoid her illness becoming a story until they knew the results. But senior White House officials let it be known on Tuesday that Mr. Mulvaney was in self-quarantine.
New York City considers curfews as public life is curtailed.
Parents scrambled to find child care after the shutdown of the New York City public school system. Bar and restaurant owners worried about how they would survive what could be weeks or even months of being closed. One cultural institution after another has steadily shut down. And, as in the rest of the nation, people still reeling from the swift changes to their daily lives braced on Tuesday for what officials said would be harder days to come.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said people should expect “several months” of hardship.
Appearing on CNN on Tuesday morning, the mayor pleaded for the federal government to provide cash aid to people whose livelihoods have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the virus.
He continued to liken the situation to the Great Depression.
“The federal government needs to put money back in the hands of people,” said the mayor. “We need direct income replacement at this point.”
For government officials, it was a two-front battle: slowing the spread of the virus — New York City was considering a curfew, echoing New Jersey, where residents have been asked not to leave their homes from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. — and getting hospitals ready for a likely a surge in patients needing urgent care.
Mr. de Blasio said that the city was rushing to add more hospital beds.
By canceling elective surgeries and dismissing patients from hospitals more quickly, the city could free up about 7,000 patient beds, the mayor said. Another 1,200 to 1,300 beds could be added by taking over unused space in hospitals and converting a newly built nursing home in Brooklyn that was not yet occupied.
European countries rush forward relief efforts as deaths surge and lockdowns expand.
As clocks around France stuck noon on Tuesday, the country’s interior minister ordered the French to keep their movements to a strict minimum.
“Staying at home today and in the coming days means saving lives,” the minister, Christophe Castaner, said at a news conference. “Behind each handshake, each kiss, each group meeting, there are more victims, there are more deaths.”
Mr. Castaner said that the fine for being in violation of the new rules would start at around $42, but that it would quickly be increased to $150.
But there were still signs that not everyone was following the government’s instructions. Ahead of the noon deadline, crowds rushed some supermarkets to stock up, even though there are no plans to close grocery stores in the near future. And in some market streets, few seemed to be respecting distancing rules.
The French government also announced a relief package that would include postponing or slashing taxes, a government guarantee of loans for companies, and more than $1.1 billion for small businesses and independent contractors.
The virus also continued to disrupt governments from within.
After Poland’s environment minister, Michal Wos, tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, 15 members of the government who came into contact with him in recent days have gone into quarantine and are awaiting test results, which are expected Tuesday afternoon.
As countries around the world continues to tighten borders, Germany raced to bring home thousands of its citizens, even as the nation struggles to get control over the coronavirus within its borders.
The government there is spending more than $55 million on logistics and flights to bring home its citizens as nations tighten their borders and travel of any kind becomes exceedingly difficult.
The situation in Spain continued to grow more dire, with both new cases and deaths continuing to surge. At least 491 people have died in the country and there have been 11,178 confirmed cases.
The death of Spain’s youngest known victim so far, Francisco García, 21, has struck a chord with the nation.
Mr. García, a soccer coach from Malaga, did not know he had an underlying condition when he went to the hospital. But he was soon hit with a double dose of bad news.
He was infected with coronavirus and he had leukemia. He died on Sunday.
The Trump administration turns on itself.
Infighting, turf wars and a president more concerned with the stock market and media coverage than policy have defined the Trump White House. They have also defined how it has handled a pandemic.
The White House culture that President Trump has fostered for more than three years has shaped his administration’s response to a deadly pandemic that is upending his presidency and the rest of the country.
It all explains how Mr. Trump could announce he was dismissing his acting chief of staff as the crisis grew more severe, creating even less clarity in an already fractured chain of command. And it was a major factor in the president’s reluctance to even acknowledge a looming crisis, for fear of rattling the financial markets that serve as his political weather vane.
Mr. Trump has refused repeated warnings to rely on experts, or to neutralize some of the power held by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in favor of a traditional staff structure. He has rarely fully empowered people in the jobs they hold.
“Part of this is President Trump being Donald J. Trump, the same guy he’s always been, and part of it is a government he has now molded in his image, rather than having a government as it has traditionally been, to serve the chief executive, and to serve the job of governing the country,” said David Lapan, a former spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon, and a former aide of one of Mr. Trump’s previous chiefs of staff, John F. Kelly.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are released from the hospital.
The actors Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have been released from an Australian hospital and will remain in self-isolation after being treated for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, their son said in a video statement on Monday.
“They’re still self-quarantined obviously, but they’re feeling a lot better so that’s a relief,” their son Chet Hanks said in a video posted on Instagram.
Mr. Hanks and Ms. Wilson, both 63, said they had tested positive for the coronavirus last Wednesday. Mr. Hanks was in Australia filming a movie about the life of Elvis Presley.
Mr. Hanks, known for star-making turns in films like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Forrest Gump,” is the most prominent celebrity known to have contracted the virus.
“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” Mr. Hanks said last week. “We Hankses will be tested, observed and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires.”
Since then, a slew of public figures have said they have tested positive for the virus, including the actor Idris Elba and Masoumeh Ebtekar, an Iranian vice president.
A representative for the couple said they would remain in self-quarantine at a rented home in the northeastern state of Queensland.
Australia has experienced a rapid uptick in coronavirus cases. As of Tuesday, 375 people had tested positive including Peter Dutton, the country’s minister for home affairs.
What is social distancing? And how do you do it?
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China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed indignation on Tuesday when asked about a tweet from President Trump referring to the epidemic as the “Chinese Virus.”
“The World Health Organization and the international community are clearly opposed to associating the virus with specific countries and regions, and against stigmatizing it,” a spokesman, Geng Shuang, said, without mentioning Mr. Trump by name. “We urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and immediately stop its unjustified accusations against China.”
Last week another spokesman, Zhao Lijian, further soured relations with the United States when he circulated a conspiracy theory that the United States Army could have been the source of the virus, though there is no evidence for that.
The State Department announced on Monday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had calledYang Jiechi, director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, to complain about Mr. Zhao’s conduct. Mr. Pompeo has also repeatedly called the coronavirus the “Wuhan virus,” but the department’s statement did not, referring to the disease the coronavirus causes by its official name, Covid-19.
Seven California counties order residents to ‘shelter in place.’
Residents of seven counties in Northern California were ordered to “shelter in place” for three weeks beginning on Tuesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They have been told to stay at home except for essential reasons, including buying food and caring for a pet.
The measures are the most restrictive in the country and were part of a broader call for Americans to limit their interactions with one another.
Though relatively few Americans have been tested for the coronavirus, more than 4,400 people have tested positive, and at least 86 have died.
The message from officials was that the virus would continue to spread. Scientists tracking the virus’s spread reported that for every confirmed case, there are most likely another five to 10 people with undetected infections.
California, America’s most populous state, with an economy bigger than the United Kingdom’s, has been remarkably resilient since the Great Recession, powered by technology, agriculture and Hollywood. No one knows how far the mounting toll from the virus will climb, but California is already one of the hardest-hit states, and stands as one of the places with the most to lose.
The shelter-in-place order goes into effect on Tuesday and is expected to disrupt life for millions of residents in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.
The Greek government orders church services suspended as concerns grow for migrants huddled in camps.
Over the past week, Greece has closed schools, cafes, bars and restaurants. When Greeks scrambled to the country’s beaches, the government closed them too. It will shut most shops from Wednesday.
But for days, leaders of the Greek Orthodox resisted calls to suspend services. So the government was forced to take action, despite the risks of challenging a powerful institution that is deeply tied to the nation’s sense of itself.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said there was no choice. “The protection of public health requires clear decisions,” he wrote on Twitter.
Four deaths have been attributed to coronavirus in Greece. The number of confirmed infections on Monday stood at 352, with cases centered in Athens.
Beyond the capital, there have been growing concerns over a possible coronavirus outbreak at camps on the five Aegean Islands that host some 50,000 migrants in intensely overcrowded conditions.
A 6-year-old girl died on Monday when a fire broke out at the notoriously cramped Moria camp on Lesbos.
Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, called for the evacuation of those living in the camps where whole families are packed tightly into confined quarters.
The international medical humanitarian organization warned that lack of adequate sanitation and limited medical care made the risk of the virus spreading extremely high.
China records just one new local infection.
Nearly two months after a coronavirus outbreak in central China escalated into a national emergency, the country’s daily count of new, local infections has approached tantalizingly close to zero.
Just one new locally originated infection was reported on Monday, according to the Chinese National Health Commission’s daily update of new coronavirus cases. The new case was in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.
An additional 20 new cases were also recorded in China on Monday among travelers arriving from abroad.
Over the past two weeks, the daily count of infections in China has consistently fallen since the government implemented drastic measures to close cities and confine hundreds of millions of people to their homes.
By the end of Monday, China’s total infection count from the virus had reached 80,881. With 3,226 fatal cases, the country has suffered more deaths from the coronavirus than any other. But Italy, a much smaller country, was nearing this figure Tuesday with 2,470 recorded deaths.
China is already trying to restart commerce and industry, but even when new local infections hit zero, the government appears unlikely to proclaim full victory over the epidemic. A test is still to come as people return to work.
Also on Tuesday, Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, said the city would require all travelers to the territory to self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from Thursday.
Reporting was contributed by Steven Lee Myers, Alan Rappeport, Emily Cochrane, Melissa Eddy, Raphael Minder, Aurelien Breeden, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Jonathan Martin, Richard C. Paddock, Maya Salam, Neil Vigdor, Nick Corasaniti and Stephanie Saul, Tiffany May, Patricia Cohen, Jeffrey Gettleman, Suhasini Raj, Karan Deep Singh, Kai Schultz, Niki Kitsantonis and Jim Tankersley.