Trump Signs Aid Package, Epicenter Is Now The U.S.
The United States now has more cases of covert nineteen the disease caused by the corona virus than any other country. The number of confirmed cases here is approaching one hundred thousand today alone in this country. At least three hundred and forty people have died. This is an emergency challenge to the conscience as well as the budget of our country and every dollar that we spend is an investment in the lives in the livelihood of the American people. The House today voted to pass the more than two trillion dollars economic rescue package that was approved by the Senate and the president signed it coming up information about how millions of Americans could get their money plus an encouraging sign about the possibility of developing a vaccine. I'm Kelly mcevers. This is corona virus daily from NPR. It's Friday march twenty seventh. Thank you very much at the White House yesterday. The president as he has increasingly this week sounded impatient. We have to get back to work or people want to work. They want to go back. They have to go back in a letter to state governors. Yesterday trump said his administration was in the process of developing new guidance for some parts of the country to relax social distancing we may take sections of our country. We may take large sections of our country that aren't so seriously affected and we may do it that way but we've got to start the process. Pretty soon. Trump's letter said any new guidance would be based on science. Here's a scientist epidemiologist. Jennifer nozoe from Johns Hopkins to be able to say here is where people do not have to worry about getting the virus. We just don't have that kind of data. Npr's Rob Stein talk to know. So he says. Increased testing is starting to help officials identify hotspots. Us has done more than five hundred thousand tests and the number done. Each day is now growing quickly but that is still a small share of very big country and nozzle says it would be bad right now to give any one place a false sense of security telling places that aren't yet hard hit. Don't worry you're essentially sort of inviting chaos and stress and as testing surges. Other problems can follow in some places supplies like swabs materials to transport the samples. Even the chemicals needed to process. The tests have not kept up with the increased demand Joanne Marquess who heads the state public health lab in Minnesota said. Think of it like making a batch of cookies. We've got an a flower to make you know twenty four cookies but the host has just invited five hundred people to our Party and now we're going to be short of sugar and then we get sugar in and then the eggs are gone and then we're running out of other supplies as well. Joanne bark kissed talking to NPR's Rob Stein. So researchers have uncovered a little good news about this virus even as it spreads changes in its genetic makeup a rare and that is encouraging for developing treatment. And a vaccine. Npr's ping-kwan reports on that viruses changeups small parts of their genetic codes all the time mandatory viral gist at the University of Texas. Medical Branch says the corona virus is no different. Yes wires mutating. It doesn't mean that they're going to become more violent or deadly when a virus infects someone. It uses theirselves to make copies of itself. Those copies spread to more cells and can be coughed out to infect other people all makes small changes when they replicate but mandatory says that the Corona Virus is actually mutating pretty slowly the genomes are relatively stable the mutations that they incorporate a relatively rare and that's a good thing other like flu change much more quickly making them harder to prevent through scenes. Justin Ball is an evolutionary biologist. At the University of Georgia. He says the small changes researchers are seeing don't seem to affect how the virus functions at this point the overall genetic diversity. I is actually pretty low. The viruses themselves are not actually under pressure to change ball says it stability and slower mutation rate are good news for researchers working on treatments for the disease and on vaccines to keep people from getting corona virus within the next year or two. I don't think that's the mutations will occur fast enough to drift away from the vaccines so once Maxene is developed. It would likely protect people for a couple of years at least you in Harrison. A microbiologist at the University of Cambridge says a small genetic changes the corona virus is making actually help researchers figure out. The virus is spreading if it straws Michigan hospitals. If it's transmitting the community while the major hubs transmission tracking the viruses important because while it's not changing significantly right now that trend may not continue it could mutate become more infectious but it could also become less dangerous or even Peter out the only way researchers will know is by keeping a close eye on it ping pong. Npr News so about that money. That's going to be sent to Americans money from the economic rescue package. Here's how it's GonNa work single people. Earning less than seventy five thousand dollars a year. We'll get as much as twelve hundred dollars. Married couples who make less than one hundred and fifty thousand a year. We'll get twenty four hundred dollars and anyone with kids under seventeen. We'll get an additional five hundred dollars per child. It's not super clear how soon these payments will go out. Experts say could be a matter of weeks and that's if the IRS has your direct deposit information on file if they don't a check in the mail might take a few months that also goes for people without bank accounts and if you or someone you know already get social security you will also get money. Your information is on file with the government. One last thing the experts are telling us is. You probably shouldn't horde this or any other cash. Npr's Scott horsely reports that there are real risks to doing that. Federal Bank regulators are urging customers to calm down. Forget mattress. Forget horn cash. Your money is the safest at the bank. Yellow Williams is the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which safeguards bank accounts. She understands the anxiety. The Corona virus provokes but says. There's no need for customers to empty the ATM. Just as it does not necessarily rational too Hort toilet paper it is also not rational to hoard cash. Some banks have closed branches or limited hours out of concern for their workers but ATM's are still operating with frequent cash deliveries from armored trucks Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted this week. Armored truck drivers and others who work in financial services are considered essential parts of the nation's critical infrastructure. Greg McBride Bankrate.com says because that infrastructure is still functioning. The race to grab cash is misguided. This is not a natural disaster. You like a hurricane or earthquake where the electricity is out. Payment Systems are down. This is the opposite in in many ways in that. If you're hold up at home having a pile of cash doesn't do a whole lot of good. Mcbride SAYS HOMEBOUND. Customers are better off leaving their money in the bank so they can pay their mortgage or credit card bills online and where they don't have to worry about loss or theft before the corona virus hit. Mcbride notes. Americans were steadily moving away from cash relying more and more on credit or debit cards as well as digital payments even person to person payments That's increasingly done. Through apps like then mo or Zell and not by region into your pocket book out Some green stuff and handing it to your colleague. Of course there are millions of Americans who don't have bank accounts and may have to rely on cash. Some have suggested handling paper. Money may your chances of getting or passing on the corona virus. Although there's little scientific consensus on that in some cases people's rushed to pull money out of the bank has been stoked by scam. Artists McWilliams says the FDIC worn a California gold dealer last week to stop advertising. Its products with the false claim that consumer bank accounts be seized in a time of crisis. Dad is absolutely false. It's patently false. And frankly criminal. In my opinion the nation's banks came into this crisis in strong financial shape even if a bank fails McBride says deposits are insured up to a quarter million dollars per person. Nobody has ever lost any money. That's been protected by federal deposit insurance and I think that's a point worth underscoring to consumers that are unsettled enough by the events that are going on from a health standpoint so if you need a security blanket in these uncertain times grab an extra roll of toilet paper if you can find your cash in the bank that was. Npr's chief economic correspondent. Scott horsely okay so before we go. We do have a couple of recommendations for your weekend. Npr's tiny desk concert series is introducing tiny desk home concerts. Check out the episode notes for linked to this one by tank from tank at the bengals and NPR's pop culture happy hour. Podcast has a whole bunch of books movies TV and music to get you through your time indoors. We recommend the recent episode on three things to stream that your whole family can enjoy again. There is a link in the notes for news through the weekend. You can stay up to date with all the news on your local public radio station and on. Npr Dot Org. This podcast is produced by Gabriella. Sal Devia an LEA and Brent bachman edited by Beth Donovan. You guys are awesome. We will be back next week. I'm Kelly mcevers.