Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
New York state officials have suspended evictions indefinitely as more than 700 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state. Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks wrote in the memo to court employees that the suspension applies to both residential and commercial evictions.
The move to stop housing removals over the weekend came after local tenants, their representatives and elected officials argued that evictions during this public health crisis would drive up homelessness and the spread of COVID-19.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed also suspended evictions of residents. San Francisco’s moratorium, which lasts 30 days, protects tenants who can’t pay rent because of business closure, loss of working hours or wages, layoffs or out-of-pocket medical costs.
In Europe, Italy increased its emergency economic measures and suspended mortgage payments to mitigate the consequences of imposing nationwide quarantine restrictions. French President Emmanuel Macron also announced rents and gas, water and electricity bills would be suspended. No French citizen would be left without resources, he added.
He announced €300 billion in fiscal support to companies that would lose business during the crisis.
Lawmakers are referring to this as “Phase 3” of Congress’s coronavirus response. Phase 1 was an $8.3 billion bill spurring coronavirus vaccine research and development, and Phase 2, once it’s passed, will be an approximately $104 billion package largely focused on paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for workers and families. Phase 3 will be many times larger than both of the previous bills combined.
The White House is also focused on relief for businesses impacted by the coronavirus crisis, including small businesses as well as larger ones like the hard-hit airline industry. The Trump administration is calling for over $50 billion to aid the airline industry. It would be part of a $1 trillion stimulus plan to shore up the economy and inject it with a deluge of cash.
Democrats like Warren are attacking the proposed funding for airlines as a bailout. The nation’s largest airlines are coming under fire from progressives for directing massive profits in recent years towards stock buybacks, which pushes up share prices, instead of increasing their financial cushion or improving labor conditions.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration wants to send cheques to Americans within the next two weeks to help them cope with the virus fallout.
Mnuchin has warned Republican senators that the country’s unemployment rate could hit 20 percent if they failed to act on a proposed coronavirus rescue package.
Mnuchin also said individuals can defer income tax payments up to $1m and corporations up to $10m for 90 days, interest and penalty-free.
State and local governments have escalated “social distancing” policies, closing schools, bars, restaurants and theatres in an attempt to contain the virus and flatten the curve.
Adam Castillejo has been free from the virus for 30 months after stopping antiretroviral medication. The 40-year-old was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and was later informed he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011. His cancer affected his HIV, and the virus affected his cancer treatments.
In 2016, he underwent a bone marrow transplant to cure the Stage 4 lymphoma, which ended up curing his cancer and HIV. The donor of the stem cells carried a unique gene mutation, CCR5-delta 32, which resists HIV.
In September of 2017, Castillejo stopped taking his antiretroviral medication, which is a combination of drugs to treat HIV. More than two years later, doctors say that he does not have any detectable HIV infection in his blood, semen or tissues.
The first patient cured, Timothy Brown, also known as “Berlin patient,” underwent a similar treatment in 2008 and has been free of the virus for over a decade.
Despite the success, this will not be a widely used treatment for the millions of people living with HIV since it was primarily used to cure Castillejo’s cancer.
A statue of trailblazing Black educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune will be displayed in the National Statuary Hall. It will be the first statue of a Black woman in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.
In addition to being an educator, Bethune was also a civil rights activist, a women’s rights leader and an advisor to five U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. She was appointed the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration by Roosevelt. Bethune opened a boarding school in Daytona Beach, Florida, for Black girls, which would later merge with an all-male school to form Bethune-Cookman College.
The model will be displayed as one of two allotted for Florida. It will replace the statue of former confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith.