COVID-19 Update | Friday, April 10
April 10, 2020
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he had constructive talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today and they agreed to hold bipartisan, bicameral talks with Mnuchin about additional near-term COVID-19 relief.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that it is unlikely that the House returns to session on April 20th as previously scheduled.
- The Senate Armed Services Committee will not move forward with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process through paper hearings right now. The change comes as Defense officials had trouble responding quickly due to the demands on the Department as a result of COVID-19.
- No changes to the Committee schedule have been made and Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) remains committed to the end of May deadline to complete the markup of the NDAA. However, he indicated that he is open to a delay if COVID-19 makes that necessary.
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) says the next COVID-19 bill should contain strong local content provisions to bring production of medical goods back to the United States.
- Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has indicated that he is considering the proposal but declined to take a position.
- The Treasury Department is expected to provide relief to some air carriers, but not all, as soon as Monday.
- Some smaller airlines are flagging the possibility of bankruptcy proceedings in the next week, particularly those that provide service to remote, rural and small communities.
- Delta Airlines today filed for exemptions to DOT’s minimum service requirements joining JetBlue and Spirit as reported in last evening’s report.
- The President announced that on Tuesday he will announce members of the “opening our country task force or opening our country council” which will be charged with evaluating the means and timing of reopening areas of the country affected by COVID-19. The President said that participants would include governors of both parties in addition to leaders from the business community and medical field.
- Postmaster General Megan Brennan has asked Congress for an additional $75 billion in aid to prevent the collapse of the United States Postal System (USPS).
- USPS employs 650,000 people and has seen a $13 billion loss in revenue due to COVID-19 and is in jeopardy of running out of funding before the end of the fiscal year.
- U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams acknowledged that most Americans will not be allowed to return to normal on May 1st, the date on which Trump Administration social distancing guidelines currently expire.
- Admiral Adams continued to emphasize the use of data in determining where and when potential openings will happen.
- An initial disbursement $30 billion of the $100 billion in healthcare system relief from the CARES Act will begin today. The Department of Health and Human Services will distribute funds to eligible providers, beginning with hospitals and providers that are enrolled in Medicare.
- After negotiations with President Trump, OPEC and Russia announced a deal to cut crude oil production by 10 million barrels per day through June to stabilize oil markets. The market did not stabilize as expected, with reports indicating the deal is seen as too modest.
- Oil demand has plummeted due to COVID-19 shutdowns, which has also contributed to high volatility in the oil markets.