Coronavirus update: Americans live, work at home, as Congress rushes to pass $1 trillion-plus bill
Five states now have stay at home orders, Senate expected to vote Sunday
March 22, 2020 - 9:28am
Roughly 90 million Americans are now under order to stay home as a result of the coronavirus – as officials increasingly impose restrictions on American life to help slow the fast-spreading virus and hasten to provide financial relief to those hit hardest.
Governors in five states – California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois – have now restricted their residents’ work, shopping and other daily routines. In addition, cities and counties across the country -- including California’s Orange County and Florida’s Miami Beach – have imposed overnight curfews to keep people home.
In hard-hit New York, where 76 people have died from the virus, hospitals are already reportedly overwhelmed with cases, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make plans for makeshift health-care facilities, including converting the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into a temporary hospital.
The National Guard has been activated in at least 28 states.
In the nation’s capital, White House and congressional leaders are meeting Sunday morning to negotiate on another coronavirus spending bill, with a first vote by the evening.
The bill is now expected to cost nearly $2 trillion and include a $1,000 check for taxpayers, $250 billion more in unemployment insurance, a payroll tax holiday, $350 billion in rescue aid for small businesses and a request for $46 billion in emergency money to respond and further prepare for the spread of the virus.
Democratic and Republican senators in the GOP-led Senate appear close to a deal and are racing against the clock as stock markets will open Monday after weeks of record losses and the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases in the U.S. dramatically increasing – in part because of more testing.
“We’re going to get there,” Indiana GOP Sen. Mike Braun told Fox News on Saturday. “I like the idea that we’ll have a vote tomorrow so on Monday morning the public knows we're doing everything we can here.
The 100-member chamber failed to reach a Friday deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Braun said the sticking points are unemployment insurance and who gets the checks and how they should be distributed.
The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is now roughly 26,700, compared to about 18,000 on Friday, with the number of virus-related deaths now at 340.
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