Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated they are “on the 2-yard line” and expect a deal today on the COVID #3/CARES Act legislation.
One of the remaining sticking points is state and local government aid.
Once a deal is released, bill passage will happen quickly, likely within hours.
Likewise, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated earlier that she is hoping the House will pass the bill by unanimous consent without bringing members back to DC to vote.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also indicated the goal is unanimous consent but recognized it only takes one member to object to negate a unanimous consent request.
I’ll keep you updated as we learn more. In the interim, the highlights of today’s White House press conference are below.
White House Coronavirus Task Force Press Conference
President Donald Trump
- Reiterated number of supplies distributed, and quantities of supplies produced by Ford, GM, 3M, and other private companies
- Receiving full cooperation from companies with the understanding that the federal government will compel production if we have to, but we have had not to.
- Army Corps and National Guard building hospital facilities at Javits Center in NYC and building four separate medical facilities in different parts of NY state. Army Corps is also building hospital facilities in CA, NJ, and WA.
- Secretary Mnuchin continues to negotiate and work closely with Congress.
- Proud to see market gains today – one of the best days in history.
- Reiterated intend to reopen the economy as soon as the time is right hopefully by Easter
- This pandemic is a medial crisis, not a financial crisis. Marshaling our economic strength will help us defeat the virus.
White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx
- Three hundred seventy thousand tests completed to date, with 220,000 tests done in the last eight days. We have conducted more tests in 8 days than South Korea did in 8 weeks.
- Reiterated comments from yesterday about the potential of a self-swabbing test.
- Our numbers continue to increase because we are still working on our testing backlog. Until we can get into a 24-hour cycle test result cycle, we will continue to have higher case numbers.
- Individuals who have left NYC need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
National Institutes of Health Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci
- On testing, we need to know the virus penetration of areas that are dark spots that don’t have a lot of cases and need to understand areas that are not hot spots. We think they still have a window to be able to contain individuals and contract trace.
- Reiterated people leaving NY and going to FL, NC, and other places – when they get to another location, they have to self-isolate as to avoid infecting others.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow
- Significant progress with legislation.
- Bill urgently needed to bolster the economy and stabilize financial markets. We believe there will be an economic rebound later this year.
- Reiterated this is the third aid package to deal with this crisis.
- The total aid package will total $6 trillion: $ 2 trillion in direct assistance and $4 trillion in Federal Reserve lending power.
Vice President Mike Pence
- Appreciate the cooperation from the private sector. Apple is donating 9 million N95 masks.
- Heard that McDonald’s is serving truckers curbside since many truck stops are closed.
- Reiterated comments about following the 15-day guidelines.
Reporters asked President about the Easter time frame. He responded that “Easter is a beautiful time, a beautiful timeline. I’d love to see it come sooner.” He says he will be guided by Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and other officials who are advising him. Dr. Fauci was asked about the Easter deadline, to which he responded, “you could look at a date, but you must be flexible with a date to assess day by day and week by week. There are areas of the country we need to know more about.” Dr. Fauci also commented that testing and contact tracing would help us get the insights we need to determine if flexibility is required in certain areas. Dr. Fauci concluded by stating, “It’s about data. Areas, where there is not an obvious outbreak, is there something under the surface that we don’t know. That’s what we have to find out.”