COVID-19 Federal Updates: April 11
Updated: Jun 9, 2020
The Federal Reserve took additional actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. This funding will assist households and employers of all sizes and bolster the ability of state and local governments to deliver critical services during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the details:
The Main Street Lending Program will enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year. Firms seeking Main Street loans must commit to making reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain workers. Borrowers must also follow compensation, stock repurchase, and dividend restrictions that apply to direct loan programs under the CARES Act. Firms that have taken advantage of the PPP may also take out Main Street loans. More information from the Federal Reserve Board can be found here.
The Municipal Liquidity Facility will allow the Fed to purchase up to $500 billion in short-term notes directly from states, counties with a population of at least two million residents, and cities with a population of at least one million residents. More information from the Federal Reserve Board can be found here.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services began delivery of initial CARES Act relief to providers. For a GCP summary of the CARES Act click here. As GCP reported in March, yesterday’s relief is part of the following healthcare system and related support highlights included in the CARES Act:
$100B for healthcare providers for coronavirus related expenses and lost revenue.
$4.3B for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for coronavirus related issues.
Health insurance plans to reimburse for coronavirus testing.
Planned reductions in Disproportionate Share hospital payments.
Medical product provisions (drug/device supply chain and shortages, medial supply stockpiles, liability),
The promotion of telehealth technologies.
See here for a separate letter and FAQs sent by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar to hospital administrators. The letter underscores the importance of data-sharing.
The Food & Drug Administration issued the second emergency use authorization (EUA) to decontaminate compatible N95 or N95-equivalent respirators for reuse by health care workers in hospital settings. This EUA will reportedly support decontamination of approximately 750,000 N95 respirators per day in the U.S.
The Department of the Treasury and the IRS launched “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here,” a web portal where Americans who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 can submit basic personal information to the IRS so that they can receive economic impact payments. Go to IRS.gov and click on the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” button and please follow the directions closely.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued interim guidance to the Agency’s regional offices on decisions about new or ongoing cleanup activities at sites across the country.
The U.S. EPA on Thursday announced it will use the extra $20 million that Congress allotted for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative this year to address invasive species control and prevention, restore habitats, remediate environmental problems that it previously designated “Areas of Concern,” and address nutrients that enter the lake and cause harmful algal blooms.
About 64 million households across the nation are beginning to receive paper questionnaires, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; they can also choose to respond online.
Public health experts are pushing back against suggestions the Trump administration could relax social distancing measures and open much of the country by May 1, warning that acting too soon will risk a resurgence of the virus.