After hammering out the details regarding the coronavirus relief package proposed by the Trump administration, the Senate approved the bill on Wednesday, with President Trump signing it into law shortly after.
Although many Republican senators had been critical about the bill, they still emphasized the importance of quickly approving this piece of legislation to help Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a speedy approval of this bill would allow the Senate to focus all its attention on the much larger economic relief package aimed at helping the economy.
This particular bill would bring around $100 billion worth of COVID-19 related aid to Americans, which expands paid leave, unemployment benefits, and mandates free testing for patients suspected of being infected. The vote passed 90-8, with two Republican senators, Rick Scott of Florida and Cory Gardner of Colorado, not voting since they are in self-quarantine after being exposed to people who were COVID-19 positive.
Coming up on the horizon is a much larger stimulus package meant to help shore up the American economy. Earlier on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned that the unemployment rate could spike to 20% if an economic stimulus package of some sort doesn't get approved. Although Democrats and Republicans have different opinions on what it should include, Trump has stated that it would likely feature direct cash payments to Americans.
Although healthcare companies like Gilead Sciences are working around to clock to develop a COVID-19 treatment of some sort, it's still a way off at this point. Countries that haven't been overwhelmed with patients are preparing for what seems like an inevitable surge of COVID-19 infections in the weeks to come.