Hi everyone. Always good to have you watching CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz. I am not at the CNN Center but our team is working together from different places to bring you the daily show. There are some businesses that are staying very busy during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Companies that make cleaning products like phone and hand sanitizers, medical equipment and supply organizations, toilet paper manufacturers and food delivery apps and their employees. But scores of businesses are seeing major losses as the disease spreads. Malls are closed. Factories are shut down. Flights have been canceled.
People in affected countries have been told to stay home. Without consumers out and about spending money and without businesses making products and hiring people, the economy has effectively ground to a halt. The United States Federal Reserve, the central bank of the country, says the coronavirus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship.
So in addition to dropping interest rates to zero, which encourages people and companies to take loans, the Fed is buying bonds, opening new credit facilities, starting a new lending program. In a nutshell, it's using all of its tools to try to limit the economic damage from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress has been debating a massive stimulus bill. A package of government spending that's intended to stimulate the economy. It could include loans to companies that are in trouble, more spending on healthcare and direct payments to American taxpayers.
Its cost could be as high as $2 trillion and Congressional Republicans and Democrats generally agree that the stimulus is needed. But they've had some disagreements over what exactly the money should be spent on and how it should be given out and that's delayed the bill from passing.