COVID-19 response memo, 6/23/20

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COVID-19 response memo, 6/23/20

 

COVID-19 Cases

 New cases: 331

Total cumulative cases reported Tuesday: 42,871

Total cumulative cases reported Monday: 42,633

Increase in cumulative cases: 238

Increase in cases reported June 17-23: 2,085

Increase in cases reported June 10-16: 2,753

COVID-19 Deaths

New deaths: 14

Total deaths: 2,377

County Numbers

Marion County cumulative cases: 10,977 (increase of 15)

Marion County new deaths: 0

Marion County cumulative deaths: 669

Hamilton County cumulative cases: 1,393

Johnson County cumulative cases: 1,205

U.S. and Worldwide Numbers

As of Tuesday morning:

U.S. cases: 2,313,445

U.S. deaths: 120,451

Global cases: 9,131,445

Global deaths: 472,856

Fauci warns of “disturbing surge” in Congressional testimony on COVID-19 pandemic 

As reported this evening in Axios, the summer reprieve from the coronavirus isn't coming, and the outbreak is hitting the Sun Belt the hardest.

Why it matters: Anthony Fauci warned today of a "disturbing surge" driven by community spread in metropolitan areas in Florida, Texas and Arizona.

  • "We were going down from 30,000 [new cases per day] to 25,000 to 20,000, and then we sort of stayed kind of flat, but now we're going up. A couple of days ago there were 30,000 new infections."

Between the lines: This isn't just from expanded testing.

  • In Arizona, the state's positive test rate has soared to 21%, the FT reports. That's a 3x increase from a month ago.
  • In Florida, the state had a 10% positivity rate on Monday, up from 4% at the beginning of the month.
  • In Texas, the city of Houston's positivity rate has tripled to 9%.

Grim comparison: A dean at the Baylor College of Medicine warned that Houston could "become the worst affected city" in America if the trajectory holds, and "maybe rival what we're seeing now in Brazil."

  • Brazil has now joined the U.S. as the second country to register 50,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths.

The big picture: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott even warned that lockdowns — a last resort — could return if the outbreak grows.

  • “If we are unable to contain the spiraling spread of COVID-19, there will be more requirements put on businesses, including even considering have to ratchet back on the expansion of opening businesses in Texas.”
  • Abbott warned that the "spread is so rapid right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home unless you need to go out."
  • "The safest place for you is at your home.”

The bottom line: Don't plan any European trips.

America risks being lumped with Russia and Brazil as countries that failed to control the coronavirus when the EU reopens its borders on July 1, according to the N.Y. Times.

Trump Tells Aides He Supports Second Round of Stimulus Checks, But White House Divisions Remain

President Trump has told aides he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, believing the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November, according to three people aware of internal administration deliberations.

However, leading congressional Republicans and some senior White House officials remain skeptical of sending more checks, creating a rift within conservative circles that could have significant consequences for the stimulus package set to be taken up by lawmakers in July. The White House has not officially taken a position on the matter.

Internally, the president’s advisers and allies are split. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has advocated sending another round of checks, two people with knowledge of internal deliberations said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to frankly discuss matters they weren’t authorized to comment on publicly. Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, is skeptical of sending payments out to as many people who received them in the first round, said one person familiar with internal matters who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Congressional Republicans may be more likely to support another round of stimulus checks if it is paired with a substantial reduction to the $600-per-week increase in unemployment benefits approved by Congress in March, aides said. (Washington Post)

SBA, Treasury Release Additional Guidance 

Monday evening, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) on revisions to the Loan Forgiveness IFR and the SBA Loan Review Procedures IFR.

The updated IFR is here.

Trump Signs Immigration Order 

On Monday, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) that temporarily bans immigrants from applying for employment-based visas amid the continued spread of the coronavirus. The EO will take effect June 24 and last through the end of the year in an effort to protect jobs for the millions of Americans that remain unemployed. 

The order bans new H1-B visas for high-skilled workers and H2-B visas for short-term seasonal workers in nonfarming jobs. J-1 visas for short-term workers such as camp counselors and L-1 visas for internal company transfers are also banned.

There will be exemptions for those in the healthcare industry focused on researching and treating COVID-19, as well as workers in the food supply chain. Exemptions will also be provided for immigrants “necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.” The order does not apply to visa-holders already in the United States or those currently outside the country that have already been granted valid visas.

FDIC Issues Final Rule to Mitigate Deposit Insurance Assessment Effect

Yesterday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a final rule to mitigate the deposit insurance assessment effects of participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as the PPP Liquidity Facility and the Money Market Fund Liquidity Facility.

PPP and the two facilities were designed to provide loans and liquidity to small businesses, lenders, and credit markets to help stabilize the financial system. The final rule will ensure banks are not subject to higher deposit insurance assessments for participating in these programs. 

A statement from Chairman McWilliams is here.

OCC Issues Interim Final Rule to Reduce Assessments Paid to Agency

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an Interim Final Rule on Monday that will reduce assessments due to be paid to the Agency on September 30, 2020. Assessments due on September 30 for banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks will be calculated using the December 31, 2019 call report, rather than the June 30, 2020 call report.

This will likely result in lower assessments for most banks supervised by the OCC. If a bank’s assets as reported on June 30, 2020, are lower than on its December 31, 2019 report, OCC will calculate the assessment due on September 30 using the June 30 call report. Banks will pay the lower of the two options.

PPE Grant Program Extended to Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations in Marion County are now eligible for grants to help offset the costs of personal protective equipment. The city of Indianapolis is partnering with the United Way of Central Indiana to provide up to $5,000 to nonprofits through the Nonprofit Restart Program. Mayor Joe Hogsett says the grants are coming from a $2 million appropriation of CARES Act funding recently approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council.

The grants will be used to reimburse organizations for purchases of PPE, including disinfectant products and capital improvements to maintain safety measures for social distancing.

To be eligible for funding, nonprofits must be located in Marion County, have achieved 501(c)(3) status from the state prior to February 15, have purchased PPE and other health and safety items as a result of the pandemic, and submit all receipts of such purchases, which must have occurred between March 16 and August 15 of this year.

You can learn more about the Nonprofit Restart Program by clicking here. (Inside Indiana Business)

 

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