US President Donald Trump has signed into law the historic $2 trillion rescue package, setting in motion a desperately needed financial relief for millions of Americans and secure the country's economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 1,700 and infected more than 100,000 people across the nation.
Trump signed the bill on March 27 just hours after the House passed it in a bipartisan vote.
The far-reaching legislation is the largest emergency aid package in US history and promises to deliver a tidal wave of cash to individual Americans, businesses and health care facilities all reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Help is on the way," Trump assured his countrymen as he signed the bill in the Oval Office at the White House. The Senate and the House of Representatives earlier passed the Bill.
"We got hit by the invisible enemy and we got hit hard," he said, adding the economy would come roaring back. "I think we are going to have a tremendous rebound," he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The legislation among other things gives $3,400 for most of the American families of four, and billions of dollars' worth of financial assistance to small and medium businesses, and big corporations like Boeing.
"This is a very important day. I've signed the single biggest economic relief package in the American history and, I must say, any other package by the way. It is twice as large as any relief every signed," the President said.
The magnitude of the package can be seen in the context that India, one of the top five economies of the world, is estimated at $3 trillion.
"I never signed anything with a T on it," Trump said.
"I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first," he said.
The first stimulus check is likely to be sent to the Americans in the first week of April.
More than half of the country's 330 million population is now confined in their homes. Major Disaster Declaration has been announced in over a dozen states and a national emergency has been declared.
A record three million people have applied for unemployment, the entire travel and tourism industry have come to a standstill and companies have stopped their operations and only essential services are running in the US.
The United States is now the hotspot of the coronavirus in the world, where according to Worldometer, 104,256 confirmed cases of the contagion have been recorded a total of 1704 people have died and 2,463 people are in critical condition.
New York, which is the financial capital of the world, accounts for nearly half of the total cases and more than 500 people have died in the Big Apple alone.
According to the White House, Trump is signing bipartisan legislation to provide relief to American families and workers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Noting that the CARES Act provides much needed economic relief for American families and businesses who are hurting through no fault of their own, the White House said the legislation will provide assistance to America's heroic healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of the outbreak.
$100 billion will go to healthcare providers, including hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic; and $27 billion will go to bolstering life-saving capabilities, including developing vaccines and the development, purchase, and distribution of critical supplies.
$45 billion will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund, more than doubling the amount available to support the President's Emergency and Disaster Declarations to empower state, local, and tribal leaders to effectively respond.
The legislative package brings security to American families by providing them with economic assistance during the time of crisis. It provides tax free payments — treated as a refundable tax credit — to Americans, giving families the immediate financial support they need, the White House said.
The novel coronavirus, that first originated in Wuhan in December, has wreaked havoc across the globe, upending life and businesses.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, 27,333 people have died due to the disease across over 170 countries. Italy has the highest number of deaths at 9,134, followed by Spain 5,138 and China 3,174.The United States leads in the number of COVID-19 with 104,007 infections confirmed so far, followed by Italy (86,498) and China (81,906).