Fiorella Beccaglia Managing Editor
As of Apr. 21, there are more than 2.4 million COVID-19 cases worldwide and 787,960 people in the United States. Of the reported cases in the U.S., at least 42,364 people have died as a result of the virus, with 18,653 of those deaths reported in New York, 4,520 in New Jersey, 2,468 in Michigan, 1,328 in Louisiana, 1,349 in Illinois and 1,229 related deaths reported in California. Worldwide, about 2.5 million cases have been reported and 171,652 related deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.
Amid protests and other pressure, some governors are implementing plans to at least partially reopen their states even though they haven’t met guidelines set out by the White House to do so, The Washington Post reported. For instance, Georgia’s governor is reopening some business—gyms, barber shops, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and some other businesses—to open starting Friday, Apr. 24, with social-distancing practices. Similarly, in South Carolina, a range of businesses could reopen beginning Monday, Apr. 20. Florida’s governor announced that he had given a task force five days to come up with a plan for reopening the Sunshine State, the Post reported.
New York will begin testing residents for antibodies specific to COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, The New York Times reported. This type of test would show who has been exposed, and possibly immune to the novel coronavirus.
Several governors have said that lack of testing supplies is the key impediment to beginning to open up their states. President Trump said that he would use the Defense Production Act to get a U.S. facility to up their production of test swabs to 20 million a month, the Times reported.
Governors of seven states — Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — have formed a coalition to put together a plan for safely reopening the region, including the economies and schools. Finally, President Trump’s $2 trillion rescue bill finally took effect Wednesday, April 15. About $532 billion went to big business, local government loans and financial assistance, including $61 billion that would go directly to airlines. Around $377 billion would go to small business loans and grants. In addition, about $290 billion would provide direct payments to families in certain tax brackets; $260 billion in unemployment insurance; $290 billion in tax cuts; and $150 billion for state and local stimulus finds. The following “miscellaneous” funds are also part of the rescue bill: $126 billion to hospitals and other health care facilities; $45 billion for FEMA; $31 billion for education stabilization; $27 billion for vaccines and stockpiles; $25 billion for infrastructure; and $131 billion for “other.” The direct payments to families went to low- and middle-income families/individuals and would include $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child in those households.Toggle panel: Post Adverts