Coronavirus live updates: US cases top 900,000, Birx says social distancing will last through summer – CNBC
This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
- Global cases: More than 2.9 million
- Global deaths: At least 203,534
- US cases: More than 939,000
- US deaths: At least 53,934
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
11:30 am: White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett says unemployment rate will approach Great Depression
White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett warned on Sunday that unemployment could hit levels not seen since the Great Depression as the economy contracts dramatically while businesses in most parts of the nation remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on Sunday morning, Hassett said the unemployment rate could hit 16% and “the next couple of months are going to be terrible” for economic data.
“We see an unemployment rate that approaches rates we saw during the Great Depression,” Hassett told ABC’s “This Week.” “During the Great Recession we lost 8.7 million jobs in the whole thing. Now we’re losing that many every 10 days, so the lift for economic policy makers is an extraordinary one.” —Eric Rosenbaum
11:16 am: New York City needs $7.4 billion in federal aid amid, De Blasio says
New York City needs a $7.4 billion in federal aid to offset economic losses from the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday, urging President Donald Trump to push his fellow Republicans in the Senate to back more relief funding for states and cities.
“The federal government must make us whole for us to be able to be in a position to restart,” De Blasio, a Democrat, said in an interview on Fox News. “If New York City is not whole, it will drag down the entire region, and it will hold up the entire national economic restart.” —Reuters
10:44 am: Mnuchin hopes PPP small business loan fund will ‘run out of money quickly’
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that he is not worried about the second round of the Payroll Protection Program being drained quickly.
“To me it’s not a matter of how long it lasts. Actually, I think the sooner the money is disbursed the better,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The first round impacted about 30 million workers. I think this round will be about the same,” he said. “That’ll be close to 50% of the private work force. So I actually hope we run out of money quickly so we can get that money into workers’ pockets.”
Congress approved another $310 million for the program last week after the initial amount ran out in just under two weeks.The program was criticized for allowing some large public companies to receive loans, leading the Treasury Department to release updated guidelines that encouraged those companies to return the loans. Mnuchin said he expected the average loan size to “go down significantly” for the second round.
Mnuchin also told reporters at the White House that the additional $600 a week added to unemployment benefits as part of the CARES Act was “not a long-term solution.”
When added to unemployment benefits paid by states, the additional benefit means some low-wage employees make more on unemployment than they did working, potentially making it difficult for employers to rehire and meet the rules of the PPP. —Jesse Pound
10:14 am: Azar’s future unclear at HHS
The future of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is unclear after a report that members of the Trump administration were considering firing him.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that officials were considering removing Azar, citing six sources familiar with the discussions. White House spokesman Judd Deere denied that any move was imminent, saying “any speculation about personnel is irresponsible and a distraction from our whole-of-government response to Covid-19.”
Trump defended Azar from criticism last month, saying on Twitter that Azar had “the complete confidence” of himself and Vice President Mike Pence. —Jesse Pound
9:54 am: Economic damage is hitting the lowest level of wage earners hardest
Lower-income groups, who depend on the service industry for jobs, are taking the biggest impact from the shutdown of an economy that is driven by services like hotels, bars and restaurants. They work in the hard-hit retail sector and are dependent on others being able to shop and dine and travel, activities which all have been sharply curtailed during the current shutdown.
While government programs have been focused on keeping people afloat who have been displaced by the efforts to curtail the coronavirus spread, the pain is likely to be long lasting.
“The largest body blows are to the travel industry, the retail industry, parts of the health care industry that are on the front lines battling the virus. Those are generally low-paying jobs, so the folks in the bottom part of the income wealth distribution are going to get creamed by this,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “There’s no doubt about it.” —Jeff Cox
9:40 am: Social distancing measures will continue ‘through the summer,’ Birx says
White House health advisor Dr. Deborah Birx told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that Americans will need to continue using social distancing measures even if the pandemic weakens by the end of May.
“Social distancing will be with us through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases,” Birx said.
Birx’s comments came after Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News on Friday that “by Memorial Day weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us.” Birx said that Pence’s statement was based on models the White House task force has looked at that use data from Detroit and Louisiana. — Jesse Pound
9:32 am: Pelosi says cash-strapped local governments will get funding in next relief bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that the next coronavirus relief package will include the state and local funding in high demand across the country.
Asked if House Democrats made a tactical error in backing the latest aid package, which didn’t include state and local funding, Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper to “just calm down.”
“We will have state and local and we will have it in a significant way,” Pelosi said.
Congress passed and President Trump signed a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid bill last week that provided $370 billion for small businesses, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing. Democrats had demanded $150 billion for states and local governments in that legislation, but Republicans successfully rejected that money. — Emma Newburger
9:03 am: Reported cases and deaths in the US