WASHINGTON, DC (AP/CNN) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law a coronavirus relief package that includes provisions for free testing for Covid-19 and paid emergency leave.
Trump on Wednesday invoked rarely used emergency powers to marshal critical medical supplies against the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also signed an aid package – which the Senate approved earlier Wednesday – that will guarantee sick leave to workers who fall ill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans had been critical of the House-passed legislation, but emphasized that it is urgent to get relief to the American people amid the coronavirus crisis.
McConnell reiterated Wednesday that he would not adjourn the Senate until it passed what lawmakers are describing as a “phase three” economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump said he will expand the nation’s diagnostic testing capacity and deploy a Navy hospital ship to New York City, which is rapidly becoming an epicenter of the pandemic, and another such ship to the West Coast. And the Housing and Urban Development Department will suspend foreclosures and evictions through April to help the growing number of Americans who face losing jobs and missing rent and mortgage payments.
But as Trump laid out efforts to help the economy, markets plummeted. Gone were the last of the gains that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had made since Trump took office.
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