US Headlines March 28, 2020
U.S. Now the Global Epicenter of Coronavirus Pandemic
(Foreign Policy) The United States can now claim the unwelcome title as the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic. It is the first country to overtake China in the total number of infections since the outbreak began. Just under 15,000 new infections were reported yesterday, the majority in the state of New York. Italy, which has suffered the highest death toll of the pandemic and recorded over 6,000 cases yesterday, is set to overtake China’s infection rate by the end of today. It was a day of grim records for the world’s largest economy, as the number of unemployment claims exploded to a record high of 3.3 million. The previous record was set in 1982, when 695,000 people filed unemployment claims. The number of Americans out of work may well be higher, as many U.S. states do not allow the self-employed and so-called gig workers to file claims.
House gives final passage to $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill
(NBC) The House on Friday passed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it quickly. The legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday, provides relief for workers and businesses that have been devastated by the outbreak.
Surging Traffic Is Slowing Down Our Internet
(NYT) In late January, as China locked down some provinces to contain the spread of the coronavirus, average internet speeds in the country slowed as people who were stuck inside went online more and clogged the networks. In Hubei Province, the epicenter of infections, mobile broadband speeds fell by more than half. In mid-February, when the virus hit Italy, Germany and Spain, internet speeds in those countries also began to deteriorate. And last week, as a wave of stay-at-home orders rolled out across the United States, the average time it took to download videos, emails and documents increased as broadband speeds declined 4.9 percent from the previous week, according to Ookla, a broadband speed testing service. Median download speeds dropped 38 percent in San Jose, Calif., and 24 percent in New York, according to Broadband Now, a consumer broadband research site.