Government didn’t rest over the weekend with rapidly unfolding COVID-19 response continuing. Here’s what you need to know:
While many eligible Americans will soon receive their coronavirus stimulus checks, President Trump has officially extended social distancing guidelines to April 30.
Is there a split between how Democrats and Republicans are responding to the crisis in state capitols?
In Massachusetts, where Governor Baker is getting high public marks for his handling of the response so far, is asking for volunteers to aid in the response to COVID-19 and has set up an online portal to donate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Monday’s silver lining: The Tokyo Olympics have a new start date.
- President Trump approves major disaster declaration for Massachusetts allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support for state and local efforts to combat COVID-19.
- Protecting the public health of the United States should be nonpartisan, but the country’s inconsistent response to COVID-19 shows some splits along party lines. Data shows that states with Democratic Governors took more aggressive, proactive steps to address the pandemic where states with Republican leadership were slower to adopt such measures. Some of this may be owed to Democrats leading many of the states that have had the largest early clusters of cases but politics is never far from anything, including COVID response.
- President Trump has extended social distancing guidelines to April 30, abandoning his previous call for resuming life and business as usual by Easter after public health officials presented data to show that the coronavirus is expanding.
- The state is looking for volunteers to aid in the response against COVID-19. Officials have also launched an online portal that companies and individuals can use to donate or sell personal protective equipment. A recent Globe poll shows Governor Baker receiving high marks for his management of this crisis response.
- Eligible Americans could receive their coronavirus stimulus checks in three weeks, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Single taxpayers earning up to $75,000 are eligible for the full benefit of $1,200, plus an additional $500 for each child. The benefits decrease by 5 percent for each additional $100 in income above the threshold. Single taxpayers with no children earning $99,000 or more are not expected to receive any benefit.
- Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has ordered the National Guard to stop all out-of-state-travelers. Previously, the executive order singled-out all cars with New York plates to be stopped and questioned about their travel and health plans but, after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo threated to sue, Raimondo expanded the order to include everyone from out of state.
- The Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23, 2021. Anyone up for a road trip?