Covid19 News

Coronavirus Live Updates: Nations Pledge Trillions to Stave Off Economic Catastrophe

In a further attempt to slow the spread of the virus in America, where it has now claimed more than 100 lives, President Trump announced on Wednesday that the border with Canada was being closed to all but essential traffic.

Canada had already closed its borders to most foreigners — but not Americans — in an attempt to keep the virus at bay.

The move on Wednesday would allow trade to continue, but would restrict flights and border crossings for things like vacations.

Mr. Trump had warned in recent days that closing the northern border was on the table.

In a news conference this week, he discouraged discretionary travel and said that, “we have very strong emergency powers when it comes to something like this, both on the southern and the northern borders.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said that trade would not be impacted should the borders close. “We just signed our deal — the U.S.M.C.A. — and the relationship is very strong,” he told reporters at the White House.

Nations around the world waged a two-front war on Wednesday: fighting the spread of the virus through ever tightening restrictions on people’s movements and trying to stabilize economies severely damaged by those efforts.

The White House is seeking more than one trillion dollars to blunt the financial fallout from the sudden and drastic changes to daily life caused by the coronavirus.

Germany has promised $600 billion to help businesses and individuals. British leaders said they would throw more than $420 billion at the crisis. The European Union promised hundreds of billions to support member states. Leaders in France, Spain, Italy and dozens of other nations have pledged to spend whatever is needed to meet the moment.

To put that in context — and to give a sense of the scale of the current crisis — the United States appropriated about $200 billion in today’s money for the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe after World War II.

But even as governments and central banks around the world promised to use all the fiscal and monetary policy instruments in their arsenal to prevent an economic collapse, the ripple effects of closing borders, locking down entire nations and telling people to stay in their homes continued to swell.

On Wednesday morning, President Trump announced on Twitter that the border with Canada was being closed to all but essential traffic. Despite the ever-tightening restrictions, the virus continued its global rampage. More than 200,000 people have now been infected and at least 8,200 killed — more than half outside China.

Wall Street, rocked by wild swings, was off to a rough start on Wednesday after global markets fell sharply.

Around the world, cities expressed growing concern about funding for vital services after revenue disappeared virtually overnight.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City’s subways and two commuter railroads, said it desperately needed $4 billion from the federal government.

With new infections continuing to rise in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said 8.6 million residents could be told to “shelter in place” within the next 48 hours. However, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pushed back against that idea.

The term “shelter in place” has previously been associated with hurricanes and snowstorms — events of limited duration where people could be confident that, after a period of hardship, life would generally get back to normal.

But “social distancing” is the new normal for the foreseeable future, increasingly enforced by law.

It was unclear what a “shelter in place” order would look like in New York.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where restrictions were expanded late Tuesday to include more than eight million people, downtown streets were deserted, but there were many reports of people still going to parks and socializing.

In Italy, where the death toll climbed to more than 2,500, the lockdown has been much more stringent, with people only venturing out for essential supplies. France and Spain have also tightened restrictions on nationwide lockdowns, adding hefty fines for anybody who violates the rules.

Stocks tumbled on Wednesday, as the coronavirus continued its relentless spread, governments ramped up efforts to contain it and investors waited for lawmakers in Washington to take action on proposals to bolster the American economy.

S&P 500 futures fell more than 5 percent. Major European markets were 4 to 5 percent lower, following a late-day slump in Asian shares.

The significant drops represented another swing in sentiment on Wall Street. Stocks jumped on Tuesday as the White House called for urgent action to pump $1 trillion into the economy. But the calls so far have not been met with tangible action in the Senate. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday and warned them that the unemployment rate in the United…

Source Website Coronavirus Live Updates: Nations Pledge Trillions to Stave Off Economic Catastrophe

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