United States President Donald Trump Signs Executive Orders for Fresh Economic Relief

Trump signs orders extending economic stimulus as US eases travel advisory

*$400 assistance below $600 offered consumers in previous stimulus package ─Report

*US advises travellers to sign up for timely alerts on countries they plan to visit

*Country records over 160,000 COVID-19 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

United States (US) President Donald Trump has signed Executive Orders extending financial relief to American consumers hit by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Agency report says the four measures President Trump endorsed Saturday, August 8 marked a presidential show of strength after Trump’s Republican party and the White House team failed to agree with opposition Democrats in Congress on a new stimulus package aimed at stopping vulnerable Americans from falling through the cracks.

The President, at press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, said: “We’ve had it and we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers.”

With double digit unemployment, disruption to businesses from social distancing rules, and persistent Coronavirus spread, many Americans had been relying on relief measures approved earlier by the Congress, but which mostly expired in July 2020.

According to Trump, his decision to circumvent Congress with executive actions would mean relief money getting “rapidly distributed” to millions of consumers.

In reality, his measures are likely to face court challenges because Congress controls Federal spending, and in any case they may add up to less money than initially appears.

For Trump, lagging badly in the polls against his Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the November 3 presidential election, the orders were partly about showing he is in charge, report stated.

However, Biden has called Trump’s orders Saturday “a series of half-baked measures.

“They are just another cynical ploy designed to deflect responsibility,” adding, that Americans need a “real leader” who would work to hammer out a deal with lawmakers.

Recall that a key Trump order promises to get $400 a week added to Americans’ unemployment benefits, while two others offer some protection from evictions and relief for student loans.

The $400 assistance is below the $600 offered in the expired stimulus package. It may also end up amounting only to $300 extra a week, because Trump said $100 would be provided from state, not federal, budgets — and only if states were willing or able to do so.

In the same vein, the United States has set a record for Coronavirus cases with more than 5 million people now infected, according to a Reuters tally

The country’s top infectious diseases official Saturday, August 8 offered hope earlier recently that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end.

Report says that with one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States now leads the world in COVID-19 cases.

The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total.

The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed Executive Orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the Coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.

ConsumerConnect learnt that the US Labour Department Friday reported that the country’s employment growth slowed considerably in July 2020, underscoring an urgent need for additional government aid.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that there could be at least a vaccine that works, and is safe by year-end.

However, President Trump offered a more optimistic view, saying it was possible the United States would have a Coronavirus vaccine by the time of the November 3, 2020, Presidential Election.

Meanwhile, the United States has lifted an international travel advisory, as it urges travellers are advised to sign up for timely alerts for the countries they plan to visit.

The US State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made two important moves relating to travel during the pandemic, report stated.

US lifts international travel advisory    Photo: Getty Images

For one, the Global 4 Health Advisory that recommended American citizens avoid international travel because of the outbreak has been lifted.

And, two, a spate of high-level warnings for individual countries has been put in its place.

The State Department said that with health and safety conditions starting to improve in countries (like Taiwan and New Zealand) and deteriorate in others (like India and the Bahamas), it feels that returning to its standard system of country-specific travel advice gives travelers all the information they need to make informed decisions.

According to the State Department, it isn’t going about this willy-nilly.

Its travel advisories rely heavily on the CDC since that agency has more experience in this regard, it was learnt.

Department officials are also keeping tabs on how COVID-19 is affecting sectors like infrastructure and healthcare to make sure its ratings are fully informed.

Need for travellers to not let their guard down, the officials stressed that flying in this shaky world means that travelling safely is now the key factor in any trip.

“Mind you, neither the State Department nor the CDC are backing off their Coronavirus-related warnings.

“Both continue to recommend that American citizens exercise extreme caution when travelling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic,” said the State Department.

According to the Department, if a potential traveller is itching to go somewhere, he/she is encouraged to stay connected with the State Department via its Web site or social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

An even smarter move would be to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme to receive alerts about evolving health and safety conditions in the destinations you want to travel to, report said.

Additional reporting by Gbenga Kayode

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