Within hours of the U.S. House’s overwhelming approval of a $2 trillion bill to blunt the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus, President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law.The rare and speedy bipartisan consensus in Congress to back the bill, the largest emergency aid package in American history, underscored the price of the pandemic.”I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first,” Trump said as he signed the bill, adding, “I’ve never signed anything with a T [for trillion].”The bipartisanship did not extend to the Oval Office, with only Republican lawmakers present, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.“It’s a proud moment for all of us,” McConnell said, praising the speed with which his fellow lawmakers worked for passage in record time.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signs the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act after it passed in the House on Capitol Hill, March 27, 2020, in Washington. President Donald Trump signed the bill later in the day.The president was also surrounded in the 75-square-meter room in the era of social distancing by Vice President Mike Pence, four members of his Cabinet and several other officials.Checks, loansChecks will be sent directly to individuals and families, unemployment benefits are to be greatly expanded, overwhelmed hospitals and health care providers will get government funding, and hundreds of billions of dollars in aid and loans will go to small businesses and big corporations.With the legislation enacted, the focus returns to what is happening on the front lines of the battle against the disease, which has infected more people in the United States than in any other country, according to statistics compiled by epidemiologists tracking the global spread of the virus.More than 100,000 people in the United States are known to have been infected by the virus and nearly 1,500 have died, including at least 366 in New York City alone.Health care workers in New York City, New Orleans and Detroit, among others, have spoken of watching patients go within hours from seemingly not seriously ill to gasping for air and needing assistance to breathe.More ventilatorsTrump on Friday demanded increased production of ventilators, a day after he questioned whether so many were required during the pandemic.”I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump said on Fox News. “You know, you’re going to major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, can we order 30,000 ventilators?”In tweets on Friday morning, however, the president blamed automaker General Motors from backing off a promise to produce 40,000 ventilators very quickly and attacked the corporation’s chief executive officer, Mary Barra, accusing her of wanting “top dollar” for such work.As usual with “this” General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, “very quickly”. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke “P”.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Thea D’Adamo of TradeMas Inc. works with fellow NYSE-AMEX floor traders in an offsite trading office they built in her home when the New York Stock Exchange closed because of the coronavirus, in Brooklyn, N.Y., March 26, 2020.Wall Street remained worried. The Dow Jones industrial average on Friday closed down 915 points, a drop of 4 percent, snapping a winning streak that for the week saw the key index gaining 13 percent for its best week since 1938.Stock prices overall, however, remain far below the levels of late February, when concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus began to create widespread anxiety among traders.

leave a reply