Coronavirus live updates: ‘Time is of the essence’ to pass $3 trillion relief package, Pelosi says

By | May 17, 2020

Approximately two months after the coronavirus outbreak caused a nearly nationwide lockdown, 48 states have eased shelter-in-place restrictions — only Massachusetts and Connecticut kept strict lockdown rules in place — in an attempt to reinvigorate their local economies. An NBC News survey of 33 states and Washington, D.C., found the lockdown will cost states hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue in the upcoming fiscal year. States that are projected to see the biggest drop in revenue include New York, California, Alaska, New Jersey, New Mexico and Wyoming, NBC News reported.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.

  • Global cases: More than 4.65 million
  • Global deaths: At least 312,188
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.46 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 88,754

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Full economic recovery may require a vaccine, Fed’s Powell says

11:50 am ET: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that “you wouldn’t want to bet against the American economy,” though the central bank chairman hedged that bet a bit.

In an excerpt of an interview to be aired Sunday evening, the central bank leader said he sees the economy rebounding in the second half of the year, but said a full recovery “may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.” The clip was played Sunday morning on “Face the Nation.” —Jeff Cox

Pelosi says ‘time is of the essence’ for Senate to pass $ 3 trillion relief package

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks about the ‘Heroes Act’, a proposal for the next phase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 12, 2020.

Saul Loeb | Pool via Reuters

11:35 am ET: When asked about arguments from Senate Republicans that the next relief bill could wait until this summer when states begin reopening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CBS that “time is of the essence” for the Senate to pass the $ 3 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by the House on Friday.

Senate Republicans have pledged to block the legislation from moving forward, which includes $ 1 trillion to state and local governments, and a second round of $ 1,200 direct payments to individuals. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he has no interest in taking up the proposal.

Pelosi said, however, that mayors and governors from both parties want this bill to happen because of its $ 75 billion investment in Covid-19 testing and its investments in local and state governments.

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“We cannot take a pause. They may think it’s OK to pause, but people are hungry across America. Hunger doesn’t take a pause,” Pelosi said. “People are jobless across America and that doesn’t take a pause. People don’t know how they’re going to pay their rent across the country.” 

When asked whether any negotiations have been made with Republicans on the bill, Pelosi said: “No bill that has been proffered will become law without negotiations.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Public companies face little risk of punishment for taking PPP loans, legal experts say

11:20 am ET: Public companies that were criticized for applying for the government’s small business relief loans are likely to avoid any legal ramifications, according to legal experts.

Companies that knowingly made false statements to get Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans face up to 30 years in prison and a $ 1 million fine, but lawyers advising corporate boards said the certification companies had to make for the loans were so vague and open-ended that most legitimate businesses would qualify for the program, CNBC’s Hugh Son and Thomas Franck reported

“I don’t see anybody being convicted for this, honestly,” said Scott Pearson, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. —Terri Cullen

‘Delusional’ Martin Shkreli is denied early prison release

A file photo of former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli.

Getty Images

10:40 am ET: A judge rejected a request by convicted pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, the so-called Pharma Bro, to be let out of prison early in order to research a coronavirus treatment, the Associated Press reported. The judge noted that probation officials viewed Shkreli’s claim as the type of “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior” that led to his conviction, AP said.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said in a nine-page ruling Saturday that Shkreli failed to demonstrate any factors that would require his release under home confinement rules.

“Disappointed but not unexpected,” Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told AP. —Terri Cullen

Some schools in California may not be able to open in the fall, Gov. Newsom says

10:25 am ET: Gov. Gavin Newsom said schools in some regions of California may not be able to open in the fall if the right conditions for reopening haven’t been met.

“I think some schools will not be, many schools will be conditioned on our ability to keep our faculty and students safe,” Newsom said in a CNN interview.

California is moving forward to start that school year strategically and methodically, Newsom said, adding that it is “difficult to answer in absolute terms” whether schools will be able to open up this fall.

Top White House health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testified last week said he didn’t foresee a vaccine being available in time to “facilitate the re-entry of students into the fall term.” President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has been pushing for states to reopen schools. “I think the schools should be back in the fall,” he said at the White House on Friday. —Kevin Breuninger

Tesla and Alameda County officials worked out health guidelines for production, California governor says

10:20 am ET: Tesla met with Alameda County health officials and has worked out health modifications that its Fremont, California-based factory must implement in order to re-start production.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom told CNN the company could begin production as early as Monday.

Newsom lifted restrictions on manufacturing as part of California’s phase 1 reopening plan on May 8, but he said local jurisdictions had the authority to move forward with their reopening if they chose to do so. Alameda County decided not to lift its restrictions immediately but intended to allow manufacturing to resume on Monday, Newsom said. Tesla had challenged the county’s stay-at-home order, however, by reopening its factory before those restrictions were lifted.

“They were able to work out a framework of modifications to keep their workers safe that they believe will have this issue resolved by as early as Monday, and that’s the spirit of cooperation,” Newsom said. Newsom said Tesla is one of “hundreds of examples” of businesses challenging health orders set by local authorities all across the country, although the company has a higher profile. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

No spike in cases seen in places that are reopening, U.S. health secretary says

9:25 am ET: State health authorities are not seeing spikes in coronavirus cases in states that are reopening, though they are seeing a rise in cases in some areas that remain closed, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar told CNN.

“We are seeing that in places that are opening. We’re not seeing this spike in cases,” Azar said. “We still see spikes in some areas that are in fact close to very localized situations.” 

Azar’s comments stand in the face of statistics gathered by local health officials that show coronavirus cases are indeed rising in states that have taken steps to restart their devastated economies, most notably Texas. After new reported cases rose by about 1,000 per day in mid-April, they started to climb in May, reaching a new single-day high of about 1,450 on Thursday, CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk and John. W Schoen reported.

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Cases are “definitely increasing but it’s not to the point where it’s overwhelming our health care system,” Dr. Brian Reed, professor and chair of the department of clinical sciences at the University of Houston College of Medicine, told CNBC. —Terri Cullen

Auto supplier industry needs at least $ 20 billion to avoid widespread damage

A worker uses a hoist to assemble a car seat at the Lear Corp. manufacturing facility in Hammond, Indiana.

Jim Young | Bloomberg | Getty Images

9:00 am ET: The U.S. auto supplier industry was already under the gun heading into this year amid slowing sales and rising costs associated with keeping up with emerging technologies that come with electric and autonomous vehicles. When the pandemic hit, a difficult situation quickly turned into a dire one, CNBC’s Michael Wayland reports.

As lockdowns kicked in nationwide, many auto suppliers weren’t prepared for such an immediate and drastic downturn in the economy. Now, the Original Equipment Supplier Association says a cash infusion of $ 20 billion to $ 25 billion is needed to avoid bankruptcies, and mergers and acquisitions of small and mid-sized auto suppliers. —Terri Cullen

China’s Wuhan nearly doubles the number of tests per day

8:45 am ET: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on May 16, Reuters reported, citing the local health authority. That is nearly double the number of tests from a day earlier.

The enhanced testing comes after the city last weekend confirmed its first cluster of Covid-19 infections since its release from a virtual lockdown on April 8, according to Reuters. —Terri Cullen

U.S. is reportedly expected to revise its aid program for small businesses

US Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.


7:35 am ET: The U.S. is expected to revise its funding program to help small businesses ride out the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Among changes being considered to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are loosening the restrictions on how businesses spend loaned funds, along with lengthening the time businesses are given to the money, the Journal reported, citing lawmakers.

Under the PPP, small businesses can apply for government-backed loans at local lenders, and those loans may be forgiven if at least three-quarters of the loan is spent on payrolls. —Terri Cullen

Read CNBC’s coverage from Asia and Europe overnight: Spain’s daily death toll drops below 100 for the first time in two months

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