“I think everyone should be paying attention to this. It’s not just going to be the elderly.”
If the news feels overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. These days, there’s so much happening every hour it’s impossible to keep up. So for those of you who didn’t follow every coronavirus-related development Wednesday, we’ve put together a quick round-up of all the things that happened yesterday.
It’s a lot.
- The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 9,400 people in the United States, and killed 150 as of Thursday morning. Across the world, more than 227,700 people have been infected and at least 9,318 have died.
- A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly 40% of American patients sick enough to be hospitalized were between the ages of 20 and 54, cutting against the conventional narrative that the virus is only dangerous for elderly or immunocompromised individuals. “I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University told the New York Times. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”
- Two months into the coronavirus crisis, the United States is still experiencing a testing shortage. While NBA players and celebrities continue to obtain tests, ordinary Americans are finding it nearly impossible, even when they’re symptomatic or have had contact with infected individuals.
- President Trump on Wednesday signed the government’s most recent bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The relief package provides free coronavirus testing to anyone who needs it, covers paid sick leave to many workers, expands unemployment benefits, and expands Medicaid funding for states.
- The economic fallout of the virus is devastating ordinary Americans. A national survey conducted March 13 and 14 found that 18% of American workers had been laid off or seen their hours reduced. The Labor Department said Thursday that 281,000 people applied for jobless benefits last week, up 33% from the week prior. On the state level more than 100,000 people have already filed for unemployment this week in Pennsylvania, while 36,645 claims were filed in Ohio on Monday. More than a million workers are expected to lose their jobs by the end of March.
- The Trump administration is now weighing a proposal to send $1,000 to most American adults and $500 for each child within three weeks in order to blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
- A separate proposal crafted by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who leads the House Financial Services Committee, would send every adult $2,000 a month with an additional $1,000 for each child every month until the crisis ends. That proposal would also suspend all consumer and small business credit payments, including mortgages, student loans, and credit cards, ban evictions and foreclosures, and provide substantial assistance to renters.
- The Trump administration on Wednesday also proposed issuing $50 billion in loans to airlines, and providing an additional $150 billion bailout for other “severely distressed industries,” which could include the hotel, casino, and oil industries. Predictably, other industries, including movie theaters, are now asking for relief as well.
- The coronavirus pandemic has now wiped out all of the stock market’s gains under President Trump.
- Trump also invoked wartime powers to accelerate the production of urgently needed medical supplies, including surgical masks, testing kits, and ventilators. Local and state officials and medical providers are complaining that the shortage of medical supplies is making it impossible for them to do their job effectively while also protecting themselves.
- The U.S. and Canada agreed Wednesday to temporarily close their border to nonessential travel, which put a pause on tourism, but allow trade to continue.
- Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida and Rep. Ben McAdams, a Democrat from Utah, both tested positive for the coronavirus and are now in isolation.
- In Georgia, the entire state legislature was asked to self-quarantine on Thursday after a state senator who was at the Capitol this week tested positive for the coronavirus.
- The virus continues to hammer Italy, which reported a record number of deaths on Wednesday. In response to the surge, Italy extended its nationwide lockdown indefinitely. Spain reported a similar surge in deaths on Thursday and other European countries are also considering extending their lockdowns.
- China on Thursday reported its first day without any new local cases of the coronavirus. This marks the first time since the crisis began in December that the nation has had no new cases.