Americans told to hunker down as death toll rises

The world is swallowing the bitter pill prescribed to fight the coronavirus. Businesses are shutting their doors, schools are closing, and governments are urging – in some cases ordering – weary citizens to hole up at home.

In response to the massive disruptions to daily life, President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced they’re working on a “big” and “bold” legislative package to address the coronavirus crisis, as the president put it. That includes “looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said Tuesday.

WATCH LIVE NOW: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is speaking – Watch in the player above. 

Mnuchin said the goal would be to get checks to Americans in two weeks to help workers cope with the economic effects of the crisis. The president wouldn’t say exactly how much those checks might be — Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Mitt Romney have suggested $1,000 per adult

“We’re going big,” the president told reporters Tuesday.

Mnuchin announced that Americans who owe a payment to the IRS can defer up to $1 million per individual, and up to $10 million per corporation.   

The president has asked all Americans to limit contact with others for 15 days, and he’s admitted the unprecedented measures being taken around the country could sink the United States into a recession.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday afternoon that New Yorkers should be “prepared” for the possibility of a shelter in place order, and that a decision should be made in the “next 48 hours.”

A health professional walks out of a drive through coronavirus testing site at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio on March 17, 2020.


COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has killed at least 95 of the more than 5,200 people who have diagnosed with it in the United States. Globally, the death toll is over 7,500, with the most aggressive outbreaks still spreading in Europe and Iran.

Italy announced new figures Tuesday that show it has one-third of the world’s total deaths from the virus.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for detailed information on coronavirus treatment and prevention.

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