US bailout before Senate, New York holds breath

Washington (hooly News) – The US Senate was due to approve on Wednesday a "historic" plan to save the world's first economy, asphyxiated by the coronavirus pandemic and the containment measures which, according to New York State authorities, epicenter of the crisis health in the country, seem to produce initial results to curb the disease.

The Republican majority and the Democratic opposition have agreed on a major text that will mobilize around 2,000 billion dollars for employees, businesses, hospitals and communities.

"The Senate will come together, act together and pass this historic rescue plan," assured the head of the Republicans in the upper house Mitch McConnell.

But several hours later, friction between senators on the final text delayed the holding of the vote.

The plan will then have to be adopted by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and then be promulgated by President Donald Trump, who wants to quickly restart an economy probably already in recession.

But for Alan Stuart Blinder, professor of economics at Princeton University, these emergency measures will act "much more as a stabilizer" than as a stimulus, while millions of people are unemployed or have been made redundant in small and medium-sized businesses that now provide more than half of the jobs in the United States.

– "Heavy requirements" –

More than half of Americans are called to stay at home, with more or less strict containment measures depending on the state.

The city of Miami, Florida, where beaches were still crowded last week, forced its 470,000 residents to stay on Tuesday. The streets were empty and the coast closed on Wednesday.

"It may sound strange, but I was waiting for this moment," 39-year-old resident Rosa Jimenez-Cano told hooly News. "This measure is necessary and it is for our good".

The federal capital, Washington, for its part announced the closure of non-essential services (gyms, hairdressers, stores …) from Wednesday evening.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States may soon overtake Europe and become the new global epicenter of the pandemic.

The country counted Wednesday afternoon nearly 900 dead and nearly 63,000 officially declared cases of Covid-19, according to the count of Johns Hopkins University, which refers.

New York State, the country's cultural and economic lung, is the most affected, but measures of containment and social distancing seem to curb the epidemic, assured its governor Andrew Cuomo.

"The arrows point in the right direction," he said during a press briefing, referring to a slowdown in the increase in hospitalizations.

"Social distancing, no restaurants, no non-essential employees" are "burdensome demands", but "effective and necessary" while the peak of the epidemic is expected in three weeks, he said. he adds.

This state of nearly 20 million inhabitants continues to demand from the federal government medical equipment, including thousands of respirators.

– Media and "real people" –

The 3.8 billion dollars allocated to New York State by the emergency plan is "a drop in the ocean" of losses, estimated at up to 15 billion dollars, said Mr. Cuomo.

Because Donald Trump now wants to put the country back to work to restart the machine, despite the reservations of many scientists and local officials who fear a possible new wave of contamination.

The Republican billionaire based his entire re-election campaign on the good health of the American economy. But the collapse of the markets has reshuffled the cards.

A "serious recession or depression" could kill more people than the epidemic, he said on Tuesday, and could even threaten his empire, built on the Trump Organization, its hotels and its golf courses.

He mentioned a symbolic date, April 12, Easter Sunday, for the resumption of activity in a part of the country.

"Real people want to go back to work as soon as possible," he said on Twitter on Wednesday, accusing mainstream media of being "the dominant force trying to force him to keep the country closed for as long as possible." in the hope that this would harm (his) re-election. "