Friday was packed with COVID-19 news from Washington, D.C. Most notably, House Democrats managed to come together with the Trump administration to agree on a coronavirus aid package that will help Americans and the broader economy.
Among other things, the relief package would grant some Americans paid emergency leave and free COVID-19 testing. The bill, which is expected to be voted on Friday night, would move to the Senate for voting as early as Monday. While both parties agree that federal efforts are needed to help Americans, the details surrounding the bill were sorted out largely between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the past couple of days.
"This legislation is about testing, testing, testing. To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured," Pelosi said. President Trump expressed his support for the bill on Friday evening, urging Republicans and Democrats to vote in favor of the legislation.
The U.S. declares national emergency
Earlier on Friday, Trump declared a state of national emergency in a news conference. The president emphasized the importance of improving the country's testing capabilities and stressed the importance of other areas of healthcare such as telehealth to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Healthcare stocks, for the most part, ended the day in the green, with many companies mentioned by Trump surging by double-digit percentages. Roche (RHHBY 0.72%) was one of these companies, with its COVID-19 test given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Roche shares shot up 13% over the course of the day.