The Morning Dispatch: Can Congress Act Quickly Enough on Small Business Loans?

Good Friday. See what we did there?

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • As of Thursday night, there are now 465,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (a 7.8 percent increase from yesterday) and 16,690 deaths (a 12.6 percent increase from yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 3.6 percent (the true mortality rate is difficult to calculate due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 2,360,512 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States, 19.4 percent have come back positive, per the COVID Tracking Project, a separate dataset with slightly different topline numbers.

  • For the third straight week, U.S. unemployment numbers were even worse than most forecasts: Another 6.6 million filed jobless claims in the week ending April 4, bringing the total of newly unemployed Americans to nearly 17 million. 

  • Attempts to approve still more financial relief for small businesses ran aground in the Senate Thursday, as Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer blocked each other’s attempts to pass competing packages by unanimous consent—all in a nearly deserted Capitol building.

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