TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN ON CLAIM CORONAVIRUS WILL DISAPPEAR As coronavirus infections continue to surge nationwide, Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claim that the pathogen will simply “disappear” one day. During an interview with “Fox News Sunday”, host Chris Wallace suggested Trump had made a mistake when he stated in January and February that the virus had largely been contained. On Feb. 10, Trump said the virus would “miraculously” go away by April. “It’s going to disappear,” the president said later that month. “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” [HuffPost]
The crisis that shocked the world: America’s response to the coronavirus.
COLORADO GOV. CALLS NATIONAL COVID-19 TESTING A “DISGRACE” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Sunday called the national COVID-19 testing system a “complete disgrace” that is “practically useless.” The governor levied the harsh criticism toward the president after reports surfaced that Trump is battling increased funding for testing and tracking coronavirus cases. The administration is trying to block billions of dollars in an upcoming coronavirus relief bill to help states carry out testing and tracing — and extra aid for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [HuffPost]
MNUCHIN WANTS TO FORGIVE BILLIONS IN PPP LOANS Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested that taxpayer-funded COVID-19 business loans under a certain amount could be automatically forgiven without compliance checks. That would likely mean an unprecedented $130 billion in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program would turn into grants to private businesses. The PPP loans, which were part of a $2 trillion coronavirus relief act passed in March, were designed to be forgiven once borrowers proved the money was used for certain business expenses, like payroll, rent and utilities. That wouldn’t be necessary if loan forgiveness becomes automatic. [HuffPost]
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HAZARD PAY? Four months into the coronavirus pandemic, the only curve the U.S. has managed to flatten is wage growth for essential workers. Many front-line employees in grocery stores and other essential businesses received hazard pay increases at the start of the crisis. But most of those temporary pay bumps have since been phased out, which effectively amounts to a pay cut for many workers amid a record-setting surge in COVID-19 cases. And most workers in hospitals and other health care facilities never received any additional pay at all, despite being hailed as “heroes” by politicians. [HuffPost]