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Senators, White House agree on $2 trillion economic stimulus bill

REUTERS/Zach Gibson
U.S. Capitol

In the New York Times, Emily Cochrane and Nicholas Fandos report: “Senators and Trump administration officials reached an agreement early Wednesday on a sweeping, roughly $2 trillion stimulus measure to send direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals as well as money to states and businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation, which is expected to be enacted within days, is the biggest fiscal stimulus package in modern American history, aimed at delivering critical financial support to businesses forced to shut their doors and relief to American families and hospitals.”

For KSTP-TV, Ryan Raiche says, “Despite concerns from health officials, there’s a growing call from President Donald Trump to open cities and businesses back up by Easter, even as COVID-19 cases skyrocket.  The renewed focus on revving back up the economic engine is catching on. … But VV Chari, an economist at the University of Minnesota and a consultant to the Federal Reserve, cautions what could happen if we jump too soon. ‘Getting back into normal economic activity, without adequate testing infrastructure, is just going to lead us into this cycle forever,’ Chari said in an interview with 5 INVESTIGATES.”

An MPR story says, “Walz said preventative actions so far have slowed infection rates in Minnesota and dampened a potential spike, but cautioned that more waves of coronavirus cases will come and that continued mitigation efforts will need to last months. He said that cellphone data and other information shows that social distancing is happening, adding,’Minnesotans are taking this seriously.’ ‘There is no doubt that this is going to take some time,’ Walz said. ‘It’s going to be well beyond Easter (April 12), and I don’t think it does us any good to pretend that it’s not.’”

The Star Tribune’s Chris Hine writes: “Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns said his mother is in the hospital and currently in a medically-induced coma as she battles COVID-19, an illness caused by a novel strain of coronavirus. Towns made the announcement early Wednesday morning on his Instagram page, saying that his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, gradually got worse to the point that doctors put her on a ventilator and eventually induced the coma as she fights the disease.”

This from the AP, “Steve LaTart in Rogers, Minn., is thinking of installing a space heater in his basement to recreate the atmosphere of his hot yoga classes now that his gym has closed due to coronavirus fears. … LaTart’s says it’s part of the ‘new, weird, strange workout plan’ he has devised during a nationwide trend of self-isolation and social distancing as the government recommends limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Gyms, yoga studios and CrossFit centers around the country are fueling the drive to stay active by offering online classes, some free of charge, or extending trial periods for at-home workouts.”

Says the Star Tribune’s John Ewoldt,Minnesotans stormed the state’s liquor stores over the past week, leaving some in complete disarray as shoppers stocked up in the face of the coronavirus. Now, drinkers and distributors alike wonder: If Gov. Tim Walz orders Minnesotans to ‘shelter in place,’ will the places that sell beer, wine and liquor get to stay open as ‘essential services’?”

In City Pages, Hannah Jones writes, “Restaurants and bars have shut down, leaving thousands of Minnesotans out of work. Nursing homes, jails, even some apartment complexes have banned visitors. We don’t even have enough coronavirus tests to go around—or masks, or hand sanitizer, or toilet paper. So it’s always nice when some happy side effect creates a silver lining on this otherwise dour, anxiety-inducing cloud. On that note, we are pleased to inform you that pedal pubs are temporarily outlawed in Minneapolis.”

From WCCO-TV: “During the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing is crucial in slowing the spread of the virus. And Minnesotans are handling it quite well, according to a recent ranking. A recent map was put together by health site, looking at geotagged Twitter data since March 1. The map tracked discussion and hashtags about social distancing, like #socialdistancing and #stayhomesaveslives. Over 4 million tweets were tracked for the listing. According to the map, Minnesota ranks seventh in the nation for social distancing activity. Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont round out the top three, respectively.”

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Michael Qualy on 03/25/2020 - 08:12 am.

    With the Senate and Trump agreeing to $2,000,000,000, now Pelosi and the House must be brought in. Welcome to a $3,000,000,000 virus deal. All sides will get money to buy votes.

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