Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Says Coronavirus Lockdown to Last Until June

By and | March 23, 2020

The lockdown affecting large segments of the American public to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus is likely to last 10 to 12 weeks, or until early June, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday.

Americans are adapting to the biggest change in daily life since World War Two with schools closed, sports canceled and economic upheaval as job losses mount with the shuttering of businesses across many industries.

Hospitals are scrambling for protective equipment for healthcare workers and ventilators as they brace for a wave of patients who will need help breathing. U.S. cases climbed to over 25,000 on Sunday morning and at least 325 people have died, with about half the cases in New York state, according to a Reuters tally.

The virus has killed over 13,000 globally and infected more than 300,000.

Lawmakers in Washington are nearing a deal that could pump a record $1 trillion into the economy to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” that he hopes Congress will vote on the bill on Monday. Proposed payments to an average family of four would be $3,000 and would only be one-time for now, he said.

Nearly one in four Americans, or 80 million, were under orders to close up shop and stay home as New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey instituted statewide lockdowns. “Unless we tell people to stay home and to stop interacting in the way they were, we are going to see more and more, thousands more, tens of thousands of more deaths than we otherwise would,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker told CNN on Sunday.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Susan Heavey; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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