COVID-19 Update #5
While many parts of America may well have crested the wave and are coming back down from the surge of new cases, other parts of America are now just nearing the crest. It was announced early Friday morning that the US death toll crossed over 50,000 human lives here in America. This battle against COVID-19 is still far from over, but the good news is that the early projections of a quarter-million or more US deaths seem to be very far off with new projections closer to 70,000 deaths.
We heard at the beginning of this week that Colorado, along with many other states, will begin slowly and responsibly reopening businesses. This is a result of the states having enough resources and equipment to properly treat sick people along with an increase in testing availability.
As we heard last week, the money for the SBA’s PPP loan program had run out. This was due, in part, by larger publicly traded companies taking advantage of their connections and the system to pull money from the program that was and is intended for small businesses. Shake Shack was one of such companies, but they have since returned the funds. This led to an increase of pressure from the President and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin toward the roughly 100 publicly traded companies to return the funds they received through the PPP loan program by May 7th or face other consequences.
In even better news, both the House and Senate pass the second round of funding for the CARES act which will provide another $484 billion to small businesses and hospitals. This bill approves $310 billion for the PPP loan program and ensures that $60 billion of that go specifically to small lenders, which was one of the provisions that withheld the passage of the second round of funding two weeks ago. The bill also provides an additional $60 billion for the SBA disaster assistance loans, $75 billion directed toward hospitals in the form of grants, and $25 billion to go toward increasing the testing capabilities.
What we’ve done, as a community, over the past month is truly monumental. From efficiently launching multiple promising vaccine studies to the building of thousands of respirators at a pace never thought imaginable by companies that had no intention of ever building a single respirator in their business model. Even the efforts of each one of us by deciding to listen to the Governor’s orders and stay home so we can keep others safe. Knowing we did all of this and more for our fellow mankind should bring us all a sense of pride.
Continue to be safe and responsible during these exacting times while we help you Traverse these turbulent markets.