Trump signs $2 trillion recovery plant
US virus cases jump to 104,000
Need for medical supply acute in NY
Desk ReportÂ :
President Donald Trump signed Friday a historic $2 trillion stimulus package as the American public and the US economy fight the devastating spread of Covid-19.
Trump's signature brings an end to a dramatic, weeklong legislative saga on Capitol Hill and triggers the distribution of millions of relief checks of up to $3,400 for an average American family of four.
Hours earlier lawmakers in the House of Representatives united to green-light the mega-plan as the number of recorded deaths from the virus hit 1,693.
"I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first," Trump said.
"This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers and businesses. That's what this is all about."
Trump signed a separate order late Friday allowing the Pentagon to bring former troops and members of the National Guard back to active duty to help the military combat the virus, the Washington Post said, citing a Pentagon spokesman.
The president also took the long-called-for step of invoking the Defense Production Act to compel auto giant General Motors to quickly honor its commitment to making ventilators, machines crucial to keeping critically ill coronavirus patients alive but which are in short supply in hospitals.
"GM was wasting time," the president said.
Nationwide the number of coronavirus cases surpassed 104,000. The need for medical supplies is acute in New York state, the US hotbed of the epidemic where 44,635 infections have been confirmed.
The death toll there increased Friday to 519 -- up from 385 the previous day -- but Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed optimism that the increase in the hospitalization rate has slowed.
The novel coronavirus has so far killed 28,244 worldwide and 614,554 people have been diagnosed with the disease globally.Â Â
Italy on Saturday announced 919 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities any country has reported in the space of 24 hours since the outbreak began late last year.
The total number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Italy now stands at 9,134.