U.S. Coronavirus Blog: 'Economy Will Recover'; Aid Bill Stuck

This story on the new coronavirus is updated throughout the day with national news and developments from around our network of local Patches. Scroll down for links, helpful for day-to-day living and the most recent stories.


Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has a simple message for Americans gearing up for another week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“This economy will recover. It may take a while,” Powell said in a preview of an interview he gave to “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.

The comments from the U.S. central bank chief came after the House of Representatives pushed through a $3 trillion bill intended to help in that economic recovery process.

However, the aid package has almost no chance of passing the Senate in its current form, with Senate Republicans calling it “dead on arrival.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday stressed the urgency of passing the next coronavirus relief bill as Republicans suggested waiting to see how funds already distributed from the federal government impact the nation.

“They may think it’s ok to pause but people are hungry across America, hunger doesn’t take a pause. People are jobless across America, that doesn’t take a pause,” Pelosi told reporters.

Pelosi Stresses Urgency For Next Relief Bill

Speaker Pelosi made it clear on Sunday she thinks that the next coronavirus relief bill should be the top priority for Republicans.

“Time is very important. We have lost time. But, again, setting aside how we got here, we can not take a pause,” Pelosi said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The $3 trillion Democratic measure would cost more than the prior four coronavirus bills combined. It would deliver almost $1 trillion for state and local governments, another round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals and help for the unemployed, renters and homeowners, college debt holders and the struggling Postal Service.

Trump and top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are insisting the next bill should protect reopening businesses from liability lawsuits. The president is also demanding a cut to payroll taxes, but GOP leaders are not yet onboard.

Additionally, Senate Republicans are suggesting a wait-and-see approach to state reopenings and the distributions of already allotted funds.

Powell Warns U.S. Recovery Could Stretch Through 2021

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell thinks the U.S. economy may not start to turn around until the end of this year, and that a vaccine will be critical to achieving a full financial recovery.

“Assuming there’s not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year,” the U.S. central bank chief said in an interview preview aired Sunday on CBS. “For the economy to fully recover people will have to be fully confident, and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.”

Powell added that people should never “bet” against the American people, but the economy will take its time in recovering. The Fed chair’s comments came as more than 36 million Americans have lost their jobs since February.

Obama Criticizes Virus Response In Graduation Speech

Former President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized U.S. leaders responsible for overseeing the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Obama spoke during the “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour event for students graduating from historically black colleges and universities, and then again later in the day during a televised commencement address for high school seniors.

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said in his first speech. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

Obama did not name any federal or state officials in either of his appearances, but earlier in May he harshly criticized President Trump’s handling of the pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster” in a call with 3,000 members of his administrations.

Obama urged the young graduates to be unafraid despite the current challenges facing the nation and to strive to be part of a diverse community.

Most States Failing To Hit Recommended Testing Levels

A new analysis claims a vast majority of states are not administering the number of coronavirus tests recommended by public health experts to safely reopen.

According to an AP analysis of metrics developed by Harvard’s Global Health Institute, 41 of the nation’s 50 states fail to test widely enough to drive their infections below a key benchmark.

Rapid, widespread testing is considered essential to tracking and containing the coronavirus.

Among the states falling short are Texas and Georgia, which moved aggressively last month to reopen stores, malls, barbershops and other businesses.

Researchers at Harvard University have calculated that the U.S. needs to test a minimum of 900,000 people per day to safely reopen the economy. That goal is nearly three times the country’s current daily testing tally of about 360,000, according to figures compiled by the COVID Tracking Project website.

From Across America

Cuomo Takes Coronavirus Test Live

Gov. Andrew Cuomo got tested for the coronavirus during his daily press briefing to show how “fast and easy” it is.


Big Cat Advocate ‘Tiger King’ Sells Face Masks

The founder of the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, featured in the Netflix docuseries, “Tiger King,” is selling leopard-printed face masks.


Class Of 2020 Joins Worst Job Market In History

Nearly 4 million people are expected to graduate with a college degree this academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. They will do so amid soaring unemployment and shuttering businesses, The Hill reports.


NY Racing Tracks Get Green Light To Reopen

The state will allow horse racing tracks to open without fans, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo looks to boost economic activity while avoiding crowds.


Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down ‘Safer-At-Home’ Order

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down the state’s “Safer-At-Home” order, stating that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its legal boundaries when crafting the order.


Illinois 13-Year-Old Makes More Than 2,000 Masks

Madi Hagwell, a junior high student from Mokena, has made 2,000 masks for those in need.


You’ve Never Seen A ‘Save The Date’ Like This One

Marc and Christina of Connecticut have been together for 8 years, engaged for 3. They set a date: June 2020. But coronavirus happened. Come on, July 2021!


How To Get Free Or Discounted Prescriptions During Coronavirus

Pharmacies across the U.S. are stepping up to help consumers find affordable medications.


Should We Believe Gov. Pritzker’s Coronavirus Testing Statistics?

KONKOL COLUMN: Illinois Gov. Pritzker wants us to believe the state with the most coronavirus tests wins, but statistics don’t tell the whole story.


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