March 25 coronavirus news

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4:38 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Will retired seniors also get stimulus checks? 

Your questions, answered

CNN's Phil Mattingly is answering your questions on the Senate stimulus package. Many of you asked if retired seniors will get stimulus checks. Here's what Mattingly said:

So long as they are not listed as a dependent for someone else (and fall within the income thresholds), yes they will. 
4:47 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus cases in California climb to more than 2,500

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A man crosses Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, on March 25.
A man crosses Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, on March 25. Mario Tama/Getty Images

The number of cases in California is climbing steadily and now stands at 2,535, with 53 deaths, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Of these positive cases, over half those infected are between the ages of 18 and 49 and 37 are under the age of 18.

The governor is urging people to abide by stay-at-home orders, imploring the public that “half way is no way.”

“We can defeat this virus, but we can’t defeat it unless we commit to fulfilling our individual obligations and our collective responsibilities to meet this moment. The stay home order is real,” Newsom said. “Don’t think for a second that we’re a day or two away from lifting that order, we’re not even a week or two away.”

4:31 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

House GOP leader opposed to unanimous consent for $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus

From CNN's Haley Byrd 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he does not support passing the phase three coronavirus stimulus bill via unanimous consent.

McCarthy split with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has said repeatedly that she hopes to pass the package by unanimous consent — a move that would keep members from having to return to Washington during the pandemic.

Any one member can block a unanimous consent request.

“I don’t believe we should pass a $2 trillion package by unanimous consent,” McCarthy said Wednesday, indicating he supports the idea of passing it by voice vote instead. “I don’t think this can pass on unanimous consent."

A voice vote would involve debate on the floor and would also not require most members to return to the Capitol, unless a member requested a recorded roll call vote.

“I think that achieves our goal by not slowing the process down, but giving us time to read the bill and making sure that it gets through,” McCarthy said of passing the measure by voice vote. “I want to make sure we review it, but do not slow it down, and be able to move this to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

McCarthy also said he agrees with the group of GOP senators who have taken issue with the bill’s handling of unemployment insurance.

“Yes, that’s a problem,” McCarthy said. “This is not a time, when all of America is trying to come together, that someone should benefit and get a higher payment than they’re actually earning while they’re working, by taking money from a taxpayer to pay it.”

4:22 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Firearm background checks have spiked in Florida

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

As the coronavirus pandemic grows, Floridians have been rushing to gun shops.

Last Friday alone 13,192 background checks were conducted, compared to 2,646 background checks the same day last year — representing ​an increase of nearly 400% (398.56%) year-on-year, ​according to data provided to CNN by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

In the last week alone, the number of background checks also surged. Last Friday, 13,192 background checks were conducted, compared to 5,783 background checks the previous Friday, which represents an increase of 128% week-on-week.

FDLE tracks the number of background checks through its Firearm Purchase Program and does not track the number of guns sold. Currently in Florida, background checks are not required for the purchase of ammunition.

4:16 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Deadline to get a REAL ID pushed back at least a year due to coronavirus

From CNN's Geneva Sands

The deadline to obtain a REAL ID, federally mandated identification that will be needed for passengers to board aircraft, will be extended until at least September 2021 — a year past the current deadline, according to a draft version of the Senate stimulus bill obtained by CNN.

Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the US, states were preparing to issue residents "REAL ID-compliant" driver's licenses or identification by the October 1 deadline.

Some context: As of last month, only about 35% of US IDs complied with the REAL ID Act, a post-9/11 law that establishes security standards for licenses. Once in effect, travelers flying commercially in the US will need to have a REAL ID, which is marked by a star on the top of the card.

Even before the outbreak, it was unlikely that all states would meet the deadline. Last month, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told lawmakers that the prospect of all states being able to issue their constituents a REAL ID by October 2020 was "probably fairly small."

The Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for the identification program, is evaluating options regarding the new deadline, a department official told CNN.

4:37 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

White House economic adviser predicts large unemployment numbers Thursday

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters at the White House on Tuesday, March 24.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters at the White House on Tuesday, March 24. Evan Vucci/AP

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow predicted, as expected, significant increases in unemployment numbers ahead of Thursday’s jobs report.

“It’s going to be a very large increase in the weekly unemployment,” he said, adding that he was not at liberty to say what the numbers will be.

“That’ll come out at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow but it’s going to be a very big increase. Everybody in the market knows that,” he said during an appearance on Fox News.

He said the House will pass the stimulus bill: “Yes the House will. They’re on board.”

Kudlow went on to explain how the package will add up to “$6 trillion” through the Federal Reserve.

“Well this whole package is $2 trillion in direct assistance and on top of that, we are giving the Federal Reserve the resources to put up as much as $4 trillion to stabilize financial markets and back up loan guarantees and help some distressed industries. This is all on a short-term basis, cause this is going to be weeks and months, not years. So when you add the two together, you’re looking at $6 trillion package," he said.

4:15 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

There are now at least 63,000 cases of coronavirus in the US

There are at least 63,109 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems.

At least 877 people have died. 

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

4:39 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

This NFL team says it will donate $1.2 million for coronavirus relief

From CNN's David Close

The ownership group of the NFL's Buffalo Bills and the NHL's Buffalo Sabres has pledged to donate at least $1.2 million toward the battle against coronavirus.

The funds will be allocated to agencies based in western New York state.

“Like many western New Yorkers, we are faced with making difficult decisions, but we realize that focusing on the health and welfare of our community is what will get us through these difficult times," Pegula Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Kim Pegula said in a statement.
4:10 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

US stocks close mostly higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks finished mostly higher on Wednesday, booking their first back-to-back gains in weeks.

Congress agreed to a deal on the stimulus bill, which eased investors’ fears.

Here's where things ended up: 

  • The Dow ended up 2.4%, or 496 points. The index had been up more than 1,300 points at its high-point.
  • The S&P closed 1.2% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite didn’t manage to hold onto its gains and ended down 0.5%.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.