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25 March 2020
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Be Encouraged: There’s Good News Today

On a Stimulus Deal, Vaccines, Hospitals, Masks, and Ventilators

We thought you’d like some good news!

Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby at CNN write:

Lawmakers struck a $2 trillion stimulus deal early Wednesday that includes sending checks directly to individuals amid the coronavirus crisis — but it will likely take until at least May before the money goes out.

Under the plan as it was being negotiated, single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400, and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17.

However, the payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.

About 90% of Americans would be eligible to receive full or partial payments, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center. Lawmakers set aside $250 billion for the so-called recovery rebates.

Qualifying income levels will be based on 2019 federal tax returns, if already filed, and otherwise on 2018 returns.

And Jim Geraghty of the National Review writes:

Today on the menu: the different forms the world is utilizing to battle the coronavirus, from massively stepping up respirator production to creating treatments for those with the virus. . . .

Regarding discovering and developing a vaccine:

Coronavirus is probably going to be a factor in our lives until late 2021. This doesn’t mean the current conditions will continue for another 18 months, just that we need to be prepared for the discovery, manufacturing, and distribution of a vaccine to take that long.

. . . . You probably saw the news of the first experimental vaccine trials that began last month. The good news is that at least 44 different projects to develop a vaccine are in development around the world. . . .

Regarding hospital capacity:

. . . . Seattle already has two hospital tents on soccer fields.

In New York . . .  Four 250-bed federal emergency hospitals will be built in the Javits Center over the next 7 to 10 days. . . . Cuomo also said 30,000 retired healthcare workers are answering the call and have enlisted to help in New York’s coronavirus response. . . .

All across the country, local and state leaders are looking at closed hospital facilities and either reopening them or preparing to reopen them.

Philadelphia is contemplating reopening Hahnemann University Hospital. In California, Long Beach Community Hospital is reopening. In New York, DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda may reopen. The New Jersey Department of Health is working to re-open Inspira Medical Center Woodbury in Gloucester County. This country has 155 closed rural hospitals . . . .

Regarding masks and ventilator production:

. . . . 3M has ramped up production of N95 respirators and doubled its global output to nearly 100 million per month; in the United States we are producing 35 million respirators per month. . . . Fiat Chrysler will start manufacturing face masks in the coming weeks and expects to be able to create 1 million per month. . . .

Ford said it will work with 3M to produce a new kind of Powered Air-Purifying Respirator for healthcare workers. . . .

Ford said it is exploring the possibility of producing the device at one of its Michigan factories. 3M will also make the respirators at its own factory, Ford said. . . .

General Motors said last Friday that it was going to work with Ventec Life Systems to help increase its production of ventilators for hospital patients. On Monday, the two companies announced that Ventec “is now planning exponentially higher ventilator production as fast as possible” as a result of the partnership. . . .

Thanks to CNN and the National Review for this information.

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