80 million Americans to receive stimulus check payments this week
The federal government has started sending out stimulus checks to Americans following the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 80 million Americans should receive payments this week. Individuals with adjusted gross income below $75,000 will receive $1,200, married couples filing taxes jointly who earn under $150,000 will see $2,400.
The move is one of the first major steps taken to get the United States economy, which has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, back up and running.
For those who don't get their money by Wednesday, the IRS will have a website available where people can plug in their information to allow for direct deposit.
"We will soon finalize new and very important guidelines to give governors the information they need to start safely opening their states," says President Donald Trump.
A number of states on the east and west coasts are working on plans to reopen, but there is no official timetable.
"Do it carefully, do it slowly, and do it intelligently. More testing and more precautions. And while you're opening up that valve watch the meter. What's the meter? The meter is the infection rate," says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The cautious attitude is shared by governors from both parties.
"We must reopen in a way in which we are able to stimulate the economy while at the same time ensuring that we contain the spread of COVID-19," says Texas Gov. Greg Abott.
An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House predicts the pandemic could end by summer if social distancing continues through May.
"It leads to a situation where every case is infecting less than one other case and that means if you keep the course, you'll get transmission essentially down to zero," says Dr. Christopher Murray, Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at Univ. of Washington.
Other experts say the model's projection, which only goes until August, is unlikely if not impossible.
Economic analyst Marty Cantor says these "economic impact payments" will do little to stimulate the Long Island economy because a high percentage of residents make too much to qualify.
Cantor says even for those who will receive the money, many won't spend it online or at local businesses -- it'll go right to mortgages or rent.
The coronavirus has infected nearly 583,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.