More than a million Californians have filed claims for unemployment insurance in less than two weeks due to layoffs or reduced hours amid the CCP virus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a March 25 press briefing.
A number of non-essential businesses across California have been forced to temporarily close after Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, which has so far infected 3,154 people in the state and claimed the lives of 67.
“We just passed the one million mark, in terms of the number of claims, just since March 14,” Newsom told reporters on Wednesday.
Newsom last week said the California department of unemployment sees 2,000 new claims a day but that “two days ago or three days, we saw about 40,000 applications, after that 70,000 applications. Yesterday [March 18] 80,000 unemployment applications. It doubled in a 48 hours period.”
At Wednesday’s press briefing, Newsom said the $2.2 trillion emergency relief package passed by the Senate will provide additional assistance to those out of work, adding an additional $600 a week on top of that, adding “this bill will be very helpful, and it’s very timely.”
The 880-page measure, the third CCP virus response bill produced by Congress, is the largest-ever rescue package in U.S. history. It builds on previous funding efforts focused on vaccines and emergency response, sick and family medical leave for workers, and food aid.
The latest bill includes $350 billion in job retention loans for small businesses that will supply eight weeks of salaries, with loan forgiveness available as long as businesses keep up with overheads and employing their workers. It also includes a $500 billion program for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including airlines.
Newsom also announced that four of America’s five biggest banks and more than 200 state-chartered banks and credit unions have committed to 90-day mortgage waivers “for those that have been impacted by COVID-19.”
Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citibank, and J.P. Morgan Chase have joined with banks in California to provide “forbearance on foreclosures and on mortgage payments,” Newsom said, but added that Bank of America did not agree to the same pledge.
“Unfortunately, Bank of America did not publicly commit to that,” Newsom said. “They just committed to 30 days. I hope they will reconsider and join those other banks that are willing to do the right thing by at least extending that commitment to their customers for 90 days.”
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.