Covid-19 Emergency Aid

Politics • American • US
The United States have payed $1,4 billion in Covid-19 support to dead people
The United States have payed $1,4 billion in Covid-19 support to dead people
Credit: Petr Kratochvil (Public Domain)

Steven Mnuchin the United States Secretary of the Treasury has announced that family members of dead people who have accidentally gotten the "stimulus check" as Covid-19 support should pay back the money to the financial authorities. In total $1,4 billion have been paid to dead people because the authorities in charge ignored or forgot the official reports on dead people.

Politics • American • South America
Chile: Congress agrees to $12 billion Covid-19 emergency plan
National Congress of Chile
National Congress of Chile (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Chile's Finance Minister Ignacio Briones announced an emergency plan, totalling $12 billion, to citizen support and economic stimulus package to overcome the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan became a reality after the government reached a cross-party agreement in Congress this Sunday.

The government faces criticism from medical experts about the handling of the crisis, and last Saturday President Sebastian Pinera removed the health minister, Jaime Manalich.

Politics • American • Brazil
Rio de Janeiro gangs are pushing medication and supplies to their communities
View from Rocinha, a favela in Rio de Janeiro
View from Rocinha, a favela in Rio de Janeiro Credit: Rasmus Bang

CNN reports that the gangs in the Rio de Janeiro's favelas implemented a system to provide hand sanitiser, medicine and cash handouts to a population with no access to the Brazilian welfare system.

"Doctors from the community are helping the sick people voluntarily," a gang member said. "The people who have money can get assistance. The ones who haven't just can't.".

Science • Medicine
World Medical Association warns of attacks against hospital staff

With clinic and health personnel needed more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Medical Association warns of increasing attacks against medical personnel.

According to the association inappropriate anger, fear and misinformation could be the greatest drivers of violence during the pandemic.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves deliver masks to hospitals in rural Texas

The actor has posted on Facebook that he and his wife started delivering 110.000 face masks to hospitals in need across rural Texas. In the post, he stated that the luxury carmaker Lincoln had donated them.

Politics • European • European Union
Germany backs France in new EU recovery fund proposal

The Franco-German agreement supports a €500 billion recovery fund to be distributed as grants, not requiring direct repayment from the countries receiving the funds. Recognizing the exceptional nature of the challenges posed by the pandemic, this is the first time Berlin has agreed to a plan based on grants instead of loans. The proposal is now in the hands of the European Commission and would require approval from all EU member states.

Politics • American • South America
Venezuela tries to get $1 billion in gold from it's reserves stored with the Bank of England

The central bank of Venezuela has filed a lawsuit against the Bank of England in order to get its hands on gold reserves worth over $1 billion in order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Venezuela wants to sell the gold reserves and then transfer the proceeds to the United Nations Development Programme in order to circumvent the US sanctions and get the country funds in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Business • Economy
Guy Fieri has helped raising over 40,000 grants of $500 for restaurant workers

Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Guy Fieri has raised $21.5 million for a new Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. The fund has started distributing the money to individual workers in the restaurant business, giving each a grant of $500. Over 40,000 grants have already been awarded. Guy Fieri has stated that he reached out with personal video messages to CEOs involved in the food and restaurant industry to ask for donations to the fund.

Politics • American • US
Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey propose $2,000 a month for every US resident

Senators Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Ed Markey of Massachusetts will introduce a bill aimed at establishing a rebate payment program that would deliver $2,000 to US residents including children until the Covid-19 pandemic has ended.

Harris said in a statement: "The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions to struggle to pay the bills or feed their families".

Politics • European
The new ESM's credit line for the covid-19 pandemic

As the Europe is in needing of liquid assets, many people went all-in with the ESM, unluckily the already two existing credit lines were not exactly what the states needed. The Eurogroup then decided to develop a new credit line exceptionally for the pandemic, last night it got definetly approved. This new credit line will be able to make a ten-year loan up to 2% of the state's GDP, with an interest fixed rate at 0,1%. This new credit line will be available from june 2020 until the end of 2022.

Politics • American • US
IRS sent Coronavirus Stimulus Payments to Dead People

Family members of deceased US residents are reporting that their dead relatives had received the Coronavirus relief fund payments from the IRS. The $1,200 stimulus payments were deposited into the dead people's bank account, well after the family had informed the authorities of their loved one's passing. As of now, there are conflicting statements whether the families can keep the payments.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
"Parks and Recreation" TV special raises $2.8 million for Covid-19 Response Fund

In a special reunion episode of "Parks and Recreation" which concluded originally in 2015, one of the main protagonists Leslie Knope, portrayed by Amy Poehler, virtually catches up with her former fictional co-workers. At the end of the episode the viewers were directed to a fundraiser website of Feeding America in order to raise money for the organization's Covid-19 Response Fund. So far over $2.8 million have been raised and further contributions are still possible.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Irish startup and health authority cooperate to deliver medicine via drones

The startup Manna Aero has started working with Ireland's health service in order to deliver prescribed medicine to patients after they've had a video call with their general practitioner, as well as essential goods such as milk or bread. The initiative is hoping that it can provide these necessities to around 500 smaller more rural Irish towns in the future if the test go well.

Lifestyle • Food
Vietnam sets up machines that distribute free rice to people out of work during pandemic

Businessmen and donors have set up machines in several different cities across Vietnam, that dispense rice for free to people that are out of jobs and have no income. The waiting lines require people to keep up physical distancing and people are required to sterilize their hands before receiving their rice.

Politics • European
Spanish government is working on universal basic income plans

The Spanish deputy prime minister and minister for economy has announced that the government is working on rolling out a version of a universal basic income. The government's social security minister Jose Luis Escriva is working on the project with the aim of rolling the universal basic income out as soon as possible. Furthermore, the income is designed to become "a permanent instrument" that stays after the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics • American • US
City of Las Vegas turns parking lot into homeless shelter

The authorities in Las Vegas repurposed an empty parking lot into a makeshift shelter for homeless people after a normal shelter was forced to close following the coronavirus pandemic. The parking lot has been divided into different spaces with paint to mark social distancing boxes for the people. In addition to this, volunteers from Touro University have started laying out blue mats that can be power washed to clean them after usage.

Sports
German Champions League clubs spend €20 million to help Bundesliga clubs

In what the Deutsche Fußball Liga, the association responsible for professional football in Germany, calls an "act of solidarity" Champions League clubs FC Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig will provide a combined €20 million with the goal to support other Bundesliga clubs that will suffer financially from coronavirus effects. "We have always said that we will show solidarity when clubs, through no fault of their own, get into an imbalance as a result of this absolutely exceptional situation that they can no longer control on their own", Dortmund Chairman of the Board Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a joint statement.

Politics • American • South America
Venezuela suspends rent, pays salaries of small and midsize companies for six months

The Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that all rent payments as well as interest payments on capital and loans are going to be suspended until September. In addition to this he guaranteed all workers their wages, which the state will pay for small and mid sized companies. In addition to this lay-offs that are the consequence of the coronavirus have been banned.

Sports
Brazilian soccer stadiums converted into hospitals

Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã and São Paulo's Pacaembu stadiums are being converted into field hospitals to increase the number of available beds to tackle the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Business • Economy
Amazon opens its workers relief fund to outside donations

The e-commerce company implemented a fund to support "employees and partners" and contributed $25 million in funds themselves. In addition to this, the company opened up the fund for outside donations stating "While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so" on their website.