A record 3.3m Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the US economy — a fact dismissed as “not relevant” by treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin — as the country’s death toll passes the 1,000 mark, with more than 80,000 infections diagnosed.
The US now has the most number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world, eclipsing China and Italy, according to reports.
In the Senate, lawmakers unanimously voted in favour of a $2.2trn (£1.85trn) rescue package to bailout those hardest hit by the global catastrophe.
Congress will vote on it on Friday, where it is widely expected to pass and be signed off by the president.
At the White House, Donald Trump has released a controversial surveillance plan to help the US reopen its economy sooner rather than later.
This plan would categorise counties as "high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk" — but backlash for the plan already surfaced with people reminding the Trump administration that people in the US could travel outside a "high-risk" area to infect others.
The president continues to claim that he wants to "reopen" the country by Easter, telling reporters on Thursday at his White House briefing that "it's time" Americans get back to work.
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