Some good news about the development of a vaccine for coronavirus and its getting closer will help encourage people during this otherwise rather gloomy period. However, it will need to be seen before it is great news. Projections say that it will not be ready for the general population before next spring, but it may be available for healthcare providers this fall. Once developed, it will certainly raise the stock market and hopes everywhere.
President Trump’s Plan to Reopen America
President Trump today announced the release of his plan to reopen the nation for business. It consists of three phases but the plan leaves it in the hands of each state governor to implement when ready. The first phase involves teleworking where possible, limiting travel and having vulnerable people shelter in place. Phase two lets employers resume non-essential travel and schools, churches, bars, and youth activities can reopen but social distancing must continue. In phase three, large venues can open but social distancing needs to continue along with proper sanitation.
Other States Creating Reopening Pacts
In addition to those states on the east and west coasts, there are now seven governors in the Midwest that have created a pact on when to reopen for business. The new pact includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. Most of them are planning to reopen around May 15th, but Wisconsin has extended it to May 26.
All three pacts claim that they will reopen based on facts, recommendations from health care professionals, business, education, and more. These pacts come after President Trump announced that he controls the time when states reopen. Some of the seven states are already looking into how to reopen.
Six states in the Northeast have extended their stay-at-home orders. The new date, so far, is May 15.
Governors and business leaders want to open their states for business, but they agree that there is a problem. A shortage of test kits will prevent an early opening.
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, continues to say that the rate of people being hospitalized and intubated continues to decrease. He further states that social distancing and stay-at-home orders are working to control the spread of the virus.
Paycheck Protection Program
The stimulus program to help employees who have been laid off, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is officially out of money. The program provided for $349 billion to help employers keep employees on the payroll. There were 1.62 million approved applications. The administrator of the SBA, Jovita Carranza, has asked Congress for more money to go into this program to help more businesses. Many more applications are left unfulfilled.
Another $250 billion is in the works for this purpose, but it is currently stalled in Congress with no agreement yet. It contains the second round of economic help, but the Democrats want more money to go to groups that were not included in the first package.
Just over 22 million people have applied for unemployment since the middle of March. Although these numbers are very large, it is likely to be reduced considerably by businesses that have received help from the $2.3 trillion stimulus package.
The Federal Reserve in Philadelphia revealed that business conditions in the East have dropped to its lowest level since July 1980. At that time, there was a reading of -12.7 during March, but April of this year produced a reading of -56.6. Although the recession has begun, once America gets back to work, economic recovery can begin but things will certainly have changed for many.