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COVID-19 Update | Monday, March 30 (AM)

March 30, 2020


  • The President last night extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April, a change from the President’s stated desire to reopen the country by Easter Sunday (April 12). The announcement suggests that Americans should continue to avoid all nonessential travel, including going to work (unless essential), eating at bars and restaurants, and gathering in groups of more than 10 people.
  • The President noted June 1 as a date where he hopes to see the country recovering.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, decades-old malaria drugs, on Sunday. Companies donated their doses of the drugs to the National Stockpile to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to patients that are hospitalized with COVID-19, as appropriate. Reports indicate these drugs would only be used on “teens and adults.”
  • The Justice Department is reviewing stock trades by lawmakers after COVID-19 briefings. The investigation is being done in coordination with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • As shared last week, the President invoked the Defense Production Act on Friday, directing General Motors (GM) to manufacture ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. GM, and Ford, have both partnered with medical device suppliers to produce the ventilators, but have indicated plans are still “in the early stages.”
  • Conversations are continuing this week over the White House Buy American Executive Order that would shift pharmaceutical and medical supply production back to the US. The order was set to be signed Friday until legal questions were raised.
  • Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USMCA is no longer on track to go into effect on June 1, as originally planned – this means automakers will have more time to comply with the deal’s new rules.
  • The President denied reports over the weekend that his Administration could suspend the collection of tariffs for three months to help the most impacted companies.
  • The Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing this evening at 5pm EST.


  • As previously reported, airlines must agree not to furlough employees through September to be eligible for $29 billion in grants and loans included in the CARES Act.
    • Reports indicate that airline CEOs are now surveying all available programs through the recovery package.
      • American CEO Doug Parker, in a message to employees, discussed the efforts of the company going forward, and the importance of the CARES Act funding.
      • Southwest CEO, Gary Kelly, stated “we’re going to work hard to make a commitment not to furlough people, anyway, but the government grant program could prove to be something that gives us a lot more confidence that we can follow through on that.”
      • United Airlines leadership stated that they will not be furloughing employees before the end of September, but said their workforce would have to be smaller if demand stays low through part of next year.
  • We expect the next tranche of legislative relief to focus on job stimulation and growth. We anticipate this will include areas like infrastructure and other measures to spur the economy. It also may include energy, telecommunications, and other areas related to growth.
  • We anticipate that staff will continue to work through a wide range of issues in crafting a 4th legislative package.
    • While timing remains fluid, we expect that action will start in earnest after the Easter Recess (April 20).
  • Additionally, members and staff will be monitoring closely the effectiveness of the phase three legislative package and its impact on the economy and the need for further actions in the near term.

Other News

  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is asking those traveling to the state from New York or New Jersey to voluntarily quarantine for two weeks.
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo have also taken steps to restrict both vehicle traffic and other forms of travel.
    • Governor Raimondo announced on Friday that her state’s police would pull over drivers with New York license plates and force them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly threatened to sue.
  • German ventilator company, Drägerwerk, has issued a warning that the global demand for ventilators will “outstrip supply, despite being on course to quadruple production this year.”
  • Reports indicate that California received 170 broken ventilators from the Federal Government.
  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan indicated that the city is starting to see evidence that the strict containment strategies, which were among the first implemented in any state, are starting to pay off. Seattle is seeing dramatic declines in street traffic, which has allowed hospitals to handle patient traffic.
  • The massive Detroit Auto Show has been canceled and the venue will be used as a possible field hospital.
  • It was announced this morning that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will open on July 23, 2021.
  • States with Stay-At-Home orders now include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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