More financial help is on the way for a nation battling both the coronavirus pandemic and a plunging economy.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $483 billion aid package on Tuesday and it next goes to the House of Representatives for approval, which is expected on Thursday.
“I urge the House to pass the bill,” said President Donald Trump.
According to the Associated Press, $331 billion of the aid would go to re-invigorate the Paycheck Protection Program that exhausted its original funding. A total of $349 billion was appropriated to spark small businesses. However, publicly traded firms – those listed on various stock exchanges – won a total of $365 million, according to the AP.
Another $75 billion will go to hospitals and $25 billion for virus testing. However, there’s no new money for state and local governments hit by a loss in tax revenue because of the closing of businesses.
Some priorities not in the bill include $250 million more for the PPP, as requested by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, or additional funding for hospitals and local governments, as pushed by Senate Democrats, according to United Press International.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March was for $2.3 trillion.
Immigration into U.S. to be suspended
President Donald Trump says he will sign an executive order “to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” as a measure to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
In a tweet late Monday night, the president wrote that he would issue the order “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens,” the Associated Press reported.
So far the pandemic has suspended or stopped the processing of visas and curbed travel into the United States and cut off the asylum process for those seeking to enter the country as they request political asylum.
On Tuesday he specified that a 60-day hold on the issuing of “certain” immigration green cards (work permits) would be established.
Danger from above? Not likely
Conspiracy theorists in Europe think they’ve found the real cause of the coronavirus pandemic: cell phone towers.
Fires and other acts of vandalism have struck cell towers in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Ireland and other European nations based on the rumor that new 5G mobile networks are causing COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.
In previous years, rumors spread that cell phone use could cause brain cancer. Neither theory has been supported by any scientific evidence or proof.
“To be concerned that 5G is somehow driving the COVID-19 epidemic is just wrong,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health.
U.S. still leads in coronavirus cases, deaths
The United States remains the nation with the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and the most deaths from it, according to Tuesday’s count from the Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., there have been 820,104 cases out of the worldwide total of 2,553,853. Following are Spain (204,178), Italy (183,957), France (156,522) and Germany (148,291).
The death count in the United States is at 44,768, out of 176,323 worldwide. Following the U.S. are Italy (24,648), Spain (21,282), France (20,796) and Great Britain (17,337).
For Orange County counts, go to: https://orangecountytribune.com/2020/04/21/new-oc-cases-of-coronavirus-plunge/ .
Categories: The Wider World