Published 6:42 AM EDT Mar 25, 2020
White House, Senate leaders strike massive stimulus deal
The White House and congressional leaders reached a $2 trillion stimulus deal early Wednesday to help Americans who have already suffered as the coronavirus shut down millions of U.S. businesses. The unprecedented economic relief bill would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home. The deal also comes a day after President Donald Trump said he hoped to “open up” the nation by Easter despite health officials’ warnings. Full details of the stimulus bill are expected to be revealed later Wednesday.
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India, home to 1.3 billion, implements coronavirus lockdown
India’s 1.3 billion inhabitants were ordered to stay indoors as a “total lockdown” took effect Wednesday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the three-week effort on Tuesday “to save India.” Failure to properly manage the next 21 days could set the country back by 21 years, Modi said. Indian health officials have reported about 450 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 10 deaths, but Modi noted that India’s high population density could enable the virus to “spread like wildfire.” A month-long lockdown also took effect Wednesday in New Zealand.
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Alaska to force airport travelers to self-quarantine; Hawaii next
Travelers looking to escape to Alaska during the coronavirus outbreak may want to reconsider as the state has mandated a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving at state airports to keep the virus from spreading in their communities. Alaska’s order, which goes into effect Wednesday and will be reviewed by April 21, requires those arriving to fill out a mandatory State of Alaska Travel Declaration Form and identify their “designated quarantine location.” Travelers have to go straight to their quarantine location from the airport and remain there for 14 days, or their entire stay if it’s shorter. Hawaii has issued a similar 14-day mandate as Alaska that will go into effect Thursday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Tuesday requiring anyone flying to Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
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- Learning from history: The Spanish flu devastated Alaska. This time with coronavirus, villages aren’t taking any chances.
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- Guidelines: Trump has not ordered any domestic travel restrictions but recommended ‘discretionary travel’ be avoided
Coronavirus impact: After one-day gain, how will markets react?
Investors will keep a close eye on markets Wednesday after the White House and congressional leaders reached a massive coronavirus stimulus deal. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average rebounded, posting its biggest one-day gain in nearly 90 years following a turbulent start to the week. . The blue-chip average surged more than 2,100 points, or 11.4%, to close at 20,704.91 – its largest percentage gain since March 1933 – while the Standard & Poor’s 500 jumped 9.4% to end at 2,447.33.
All NFL club facilities to close
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo to all 32 teams stating all club facilities will be closed by 6 p.m. local time Wednesday, with limited exceptions. These facility closures — sparked by the coronavirus outbreak — will continue until at least April 8, when the league “will assess the advice from medical experts and public health authorities to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for facilities to reopen or to extend the period of closure.” Teams still will be allowed to sign free-agent players, evaluate draft prospects, sell tickets and other operations related to preparing for the 2020 season.
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- Opinion: Olympics will be worth the wait following postponement
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