WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday agreement has been reached on major elements of a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package for small businesses, including additional help for hospitals and virus testing.
Schumer said post-midnight talks among Democratic and Republican leaders, along with Trump administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, produced a breakthrough agreement on the package.
“We have a deal and I think we'll pass it today,” Schumer said on CNN. He cautioned that staff are still “dotting the I's and crossing the T's.”
A Tuesday afternoon Senate session could provide an opportunity to quickly pass the legislation if it comes together quickly, though the Democratic-controlled House is planning on calling lawmakers to Washington for a vote later in the week.
Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.
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- President Donald Trump said that he will sign an executive order “to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” because of the coronavirus. He offered no details about which immigration programs might be affected by the order.
- Worldwide, the virus has infected nearly 2.5 million people and caused more than 170,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University count. The U.S. is the hardest-hit nation, with nearly 788,000 infections and more than 42,000 deaths.
- The oil market plunged further on Tuesday on concerns over a collapse in demand as the pandemic leaves factories, cars and airplanes idled around the world.
- The U.N. General Assembly demanded global action to quickly scale up the development of and access to medicines, vaccines and equipment to battle the pandemic, while the World Health Organization warned Tuesday that rushing to ease coronavirus lockdowns could lead to a resurgence of the outbreak.
- WHO says the number of beds in intensive care units available to treat COVID-19 patients in 43 African countries is less than 5,000. That’s about five beds per 1 million people compared to 4,000 beds per 1 million in Europe.
- Boeing and at least one other U.S. heavy-equipment manufacturer resumed production and some states rolled out aggressive reopening plans Monday, despite nationwide concerns there is not enough testing yet to keep the coronavirus from rebounding.
- Several European countries, including Denmark, Austria, Spain and Germany, have begun gradually easing restrictions, allowing some people back to work, including hairdressers, dentists and construction workers.
- After enduring extended trade disputes and worker shortages, U.S. hog farmers were poised to finally hit it big this year with expectations of climbing prices amid soaring domestic and foreign demand. Instead, restaurant closures due to the coronavirus have contributed to an estimated $5 billion in losses for the industry, and almost overnight millions of hogs stacking up on farms now have little value.
- This year's Scripps National Spelling Bee has been canceled after organizers concluded there is “no clear path to safely set a new date in 2020” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Britain is marking Queen Elizabeth II's 94th birthday with silence Tuesday, as the nation in lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic forgoes the usual gun salutes and ringing of bells. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to speak with U.S. President Donald Trump and the queen this week as he gradually returns to work.
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