COVID-19 Update | Sunday, March 22 (PM-2)
March 22, 2020
- Senate vote on moving forward with third COVID-19 relief bill fails – negotiations continue.
- The President today approved Major Disaster Declarations for New York and Washington and indicated that he would approve one for California either later tonight or tomorrow.
- A major disaster declaration provides a wide range of Federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.
- Honeywell has announced that they will expand their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturing in Rhode Island to be distributed by the federal government.
- President Trump approved Title 32 National Guard aid in New York, Washington, and California. This allows Governors to call up National Guard reserves. The President also stated that the cost will be paid by the Federal Government.
- The President announced a Department of Energy and IBM partnership to help fight COVID-19. They will work together on computing mechanisms to help doctors and others combat the virus.
- The President also indicated multiple other companies/government entities will be contributing to this partnership, including Microsoft, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rennselaer, Amazon, Google, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institutes of Health.
- The President noted that his Administration continues to investigate vaccines and other mechanisms to fight COVID-19.
- The US Hospital Ship Mercy will be deployed to Los Angeles.
- The Administration is urging all national labs to prioritize in-patient COVID-19 testing.
- Vice President Pence announced that the FDA approved an emergency authorization on a new COVID-19 test that should be in production by the end of March. The results of this test would come back in about 45 minutes.
- The President also discussed relief for cruise lines in his afternoon press conference, but did not provide a lot of details.
- The 6:00PM procedural vote to advance H.R. 748,
the Senate Republican third COVID-19 relief package (Coronavirus Aid, Relief
and Economic Security (CARES) Act), failed to reach 60 votes. The vote
was along party lines, as an agreement between the two sides had not been
reached before the 6 PM vote.
- Negotiations are going to continue, and another procedural vote is possible. We will keep you all posted on that.
- The House is continuing to draft its own bill, which could be released as early as tomorrow morning.
- Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has tested positive for COVID-19 and Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT). Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Rick Scott (R-FL) are in self-quarantine/isolation.
- Over 100 million Americans are now under “Stay At Home” orders.
- The Administration is working to bring Americans home from abroad, including a group in Peru.