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Trump Touts Possible 'Game-Changer' Treatment for Coronavirus, Congress Aid Could Put $1,200 in Your Pocket

03-20-2020
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Cleaning workers at the Life Care Center near Seattle, the center of the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Cleaning workers at the Life Care Center near Seattle, the center of the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

New hope may be emerging in the fight against the coronavirus – it's a possible treatment that President Trump is calling a potential "game-changer". That spark of optimism comes as the nationwide shutdown just escalated as 40 million Californians have been told to stay home, and New York's mayor is warning of a hospital shortage.

California's governor has now ordered his state's 40 million residents to stay home indefinitely and go outside only for essential jobs, errands or some exercise. He's concerned the coronavirus could be too much for the state's medical system to handle.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) says, "There's a recognition of our interdependence that requires of this moment that we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home." 

And California's economy, which is the world's fifth-biggest, has also taken a hit. Only essential critical infrastructure workers are permitted to continue working.

On the East Coast in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city has only two to three weeks before area hospitals run out of supplies.

Economic Aid from Washington

As the number of US cases climbs over 13,000, and with the economy taking a severe hit from all the business closings and an expected rise in unemployment, Senate Republicans and the White House introduced their trillion-dollar plan on Thursday to boost the economy. It includes sending Americans checks for $1,200.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, "It is critical that we move swiftly and boldly to begin to stabilize our economy, preserve Americans' jobs, get money to workers and families and keep up our fight on the health front."

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, "We are ready and eager to look at what Republicans have put together and to work with them. But, we believe that whatever proposal emerges, and it will be bipartisan, that it must be a workers' first proposal."

Schumer went on to say that his goal is to make sure "no one loses a paycheck or goes into financial ruin as a result of the coronavirus."

On Wall Street, investors are hoping for a sustainable rally after the recent collapse in prices.

Possible Treatments for Coronavirus

On the medical front, Vice President Mike Pence says a company that makes the important n-95 masks is accelerating production to 35-million per month. Pence also says the government has found tens of thousands of ventilators as well. 

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And President Trump is talking about possible treatments for the coronavirus, including a drug normally prescribed to treat malaria – known as "chloroquine" or "hydroxy-chloroquine" – which is showing some promise. Doctors say it had promising outcomes in China.

President Trump said, "I think it's going to be very exciting. I think it could be a game-changer. And maybe not and maybe not, but I think it could be, based on what I see, it could be a game-changer. Very powerful; they're very powerful. So I want every American to know that we're doing everything we can, and these actions are important next steps."

Reuters reports the malaria drug is already in short supply as demand is surging.

Chloroquine, and another drug, Remdesivir, are among several possibilities now being tested as potential therapies for the disease.

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