The White House and Senate Leaders from both parties announced an agreement during the early-morning hours on Wednesday that would rush weeping aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,” White House aide Eric Ueland announced. The package will bring an unprecedented $2 trillion in aid to small businesses, workers, and more. It’s the largest economic rescue measure in history — and is intended as a weeks- or months-long patch for an economy spiraling out of control.
“After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a key negotiator. “It will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight. And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”
At the White House on Tuesday, even as the public-health crisis deepened, President Donald Trump expressed eagerness to nudge many people back to work in coming weeks and held out a prospect, based more on hope than science, that the country could be returning to normal in less than a month.
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo hinted that it would take significantly longer than mere weeks to get New Yorkers back to work. Meanwhile, the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that in a place like New York City — the federal government wouldn’t want to ‘tone things down’.