Coronavirus Update: Virus now in all 50 states, McConnell tries to increase Senate's role

The financial impact of the virus has countries worldwide attempting to infuses billion into their economies

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coronavirus
Philadelphia businesses get behind efforts to slow coronavirus spread
(Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 18, 2020 - 9:39am

The U.S. government is moving Wednesday with an increasing sense of urgency to help the country prevail against the coronavirus – tightening restrictions and recommendations on public gatherings and vowing to get more money into the economy to address the crisis.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging senators to swiftly pass a coronavirus-spending bill recently passed in the Democrat-controlled House and vowing quick and decisive action on a third round of coronavirus money – as much as $800 billion, which could include $1,000 checks for Americans.

“It is my intention that the Senate will not adjourn until we have passed significant and bold new steps, above and beyond what the House passed, to help our strong nation and our strong underlying economy weather this storm,” McConnell tweeted Monday afternoon. 

The effort comes amid stores and restaurants closing across the country – raising concerns of unemployment as high as 20 percent and a recession. 

The efforts by Congress and the Trump administration to shore up the economy as a result of the financial impact of the coronavirus are similar to those in other countries hit hard by the infection.

Germany, for example, is making available $550 billion in loan guarantees, and French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday night that no company in his country – “whatever the size” – will be exposed to the risk of collapse.

There are now more than 200,000 reported coronavirus cases worldwide and 8,228 virus-related deaths. The U.S. has 6,524 reported cases and 166 related deaths. The virus is now in all 50 U.S. states.

Federal, state and local governments are now imposed bans to limit gatherings of no more than 10 people.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an executive order, in the city of roughly 8.6 million people, that directs all restaurants, bars and cafes to close and provide only take-out or delivery services. The order also closes all gyms and entertainment venues.