Wednesday, March 18
March 18, 2020
World updates: As of Wednesday morning, there are currently 68 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, a steep increase from Sunday’s count of 39 total cases. In response to the uptick, Gov. Brown has extended the closure of all public schools until Apr. 28, which Jesuit has followed as well.
In federal news, President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the suspension of all non-essential travel between the two countries to contain the spread of the virus. While the temporary suspension’s timeline is still being hammered out via joint agreement, essential travel, particularly supply chains that involve the trucking of food, medicine, and fuel across the U.S.-Canada border, will be exempted from any border closure.
The Senate also passed the $100 billion House bill to provide paid sick and childcare leave, expanded unemployment insurance, and free coronavirus testing. That bill now heads to Trump’s desk for his signature. Senate Republicans are now working in coordination with the White House on a much larger, $1 trillion-plus package–known as “Phase 3”–that lawmakers and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have suggested will provide $2,000 to individual adult Americans in separate $1,000 cash installments, with a cutoff at some point and lesser, fixed amounts for wealthier Americans. Other details of the unprecedented economic stimulus proposal, such as small business loans and affected industry relief, are in the midst of negotiation.