COVID-19 Update | Friday, April 3
April 3, 2020
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi indicated on Friday that she was in favor of a more focused fourth COVID-19 relief package. Pelosi indicated that the bill should be an expansion of the CARES Act to include additional funds for states, expanded payroll protection for small businesses, and additional help for the unemployed, in addition to additional direct payments to Americans.
- Earlier this week, Speaker Pelosi had called for a broad fourth bill which was focused on Democratic infrastructure principles released earlier this year.
- Pelosi came under fire from Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who called her attempt to include broader and more controversial topics opportunistic in a time of crisis.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that Congress will work on another COVID-19 relief bill, and also stated that healthcare will top the list of priorities.
- President Trump announced a new CDC recommendation for Americans to use masks when in public, but stressed that it was voluntary and that he would not be using a mask.
- President Trump also announced that hospitals will be reimbursed by the Federal government for costs associated with treating uninsured COVID-19 patients using funds appropriated by Congress under the second and third COVID-19 relief packages.
- Secretary of the Health and Human Services Alex Azar mentioned that providers being reimbursed would be forbidden from balance billing uninsured patients.
- Dr. Birx discussed that there is a noticeable difference in the curves in Washington and California showing that actions taken there are making a difference.
- The Trump Administration has invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase the production of ventilators and N-95 masks. The order applied to General Electric, Royal Philips, among others for the production of ventilators, while 3M was the company ordered to produce masks.
- The method through which the Administration is implementing the DPA is reportedly not as aggressive as it could be, as the act allows for the federal government to coordinate horizontal and vertical integration across sectors of the economy, not just companies.
- Peter Navarro announced that an executive order (EO) that will increase domestic production of medical supplies and medicines to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic is still on the way.
- Today at 5pm ET marks the first major deadline for air carriers and related businesses to apply for the $32 billion in federal grants allocated in the CARES Act.
- The warrants required as compensation that were included in the grants under the CARES Act have come under fire from pilots and multiple unions who believe they are a disincentive for the companies to apply for sufficient funding.
- Despite potentially damaging economic impacts, officials from Canada and Mexico have signaled that an entry into force for USMCA this summer, July 1st according to Elevate’s intel, remains a top priority.
- Despite indications that tariff relief was on the way, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said that the Administration will not defer tariff payments because they are against the Administration’s policy and are complex in nature.
- The Small Business Administration released a notice that Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have been authorized for all states and territories of the US.
- The Department of Labor reported 701,000 jobs were lost in March. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, with unemployment claims at 10 million in the last two weeks.
- The President reiterated in tonight’s press conference that he will be leaving the decision on stay-at-home orders to Governors.
- Ford Motor Company has come out in support of another “cash-for-clunkers” program in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, hailing its success in helping the economy in 2009.
- After several days of discussion, two cruise ships with COVID-19 positive patients were allowed to dock in Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday. Severely sick individuals were sent hospitals in Florida, while foreign nationals who did not need medical care were immediately sent to airports to be repatriated to their home nations.
- Oracle developed and donated portal to provide crowd sourced information to show how different patients are responding to different treatments.