Congress Passes Relief Bill As President Trump Gets Tested For Coronavirus
By Bill Galluccio
March 14, 2020
The House of Representatives passed a coronavirus relief bill early Saturday morning that will provide paid sick to those impacted the global pandemic. The package includes free coronavirus testing for all Americans, emergency paid sick leave benefits, and includes money for food assistance programs and state unemployment benefits.
President Donald Trump offered his support for the bill in a series of tweets, saying it "puts the health and well-being of American families first."
The legislation requires employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave and up to the three months of paid emergency leave. Employers will be able to claim to a tax credit to help mitigate the costs. The provision will expire in one year.
The bill also provides states with at least $1 billion in grants to help cover the costs of unemployment benefits while allowing families who receive free or reduced-price meals at school to request emergency food assistance.
The bill is expected to be taken up in the Senate this week.
President Trump Gets Tested For Coronavirus
President Trump told reporters during a press conference at the White House on Saturday (March 14) that he was tested for COVID-19. He said that he does not have the results of the test, which will take between one and two days.
There was concern that President Trump may have been exposed to the coronavirus after he took a photograph with Fabio Wajngarten, the press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, while they were at Mar-A-Lago in Miami, Florida. A few days after their brief interaction, Wajngarten tested positive for COVID-19, and many of the people who came in contact with him went into self-isolation.
Travel Ban Extended To Include U.K. And Ireland
As the number of cases of coronavirus continues to climb in the United Kingdom, President Trump announced that a travel ban to the European Union is being extended to include both the U.K. and Ireland.
There have been 1,140 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.K., and 21 people have died.
The ban does not apply to U.S. citizens or their family members.
U.S. Death Toll Continues To Rise As More Cases Pop Up
The virus has been reported in 49 states, with more than 2,430 confirmed cases across the country. There have been at least 50 deaths, including an 82-year-old woman who became the first victim in New York City.
Health officials said she had emphysema, which contributed to her death.
The number of cases in the United States is expected to rise in the coming days as more and more Americans get tested for COVID-19.
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Photo: Getty Images