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New York governor knocks $2T COVID-19 aid package

WASHINGTON

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package Thursday because it failed to address governmental needs of the states.

Cuomo called the massive package careless, that was passed by the U.S. Senate late Wednesday to ease the economic effects of the virus.

“The congressional action in my opinion simply failed to address the governmental need. I’ve spoken to all the officials involved. I spoke to our House delegation. I spoke to our senators,” Cuomo said at a daily news conference. “I am disappointed, I find it irresponsible, I find it reckless.”

The largest stimulus legislation in the country’s history cleared the Senate floor with a 96-0 vote.

New York will receive $5 billion from the stimulus, which he said is “earmarked only for COVID virus expenses, which means it does absolutely nothing for us in terms of lost revenue for this state.”

The governor said it is an extraordinary time for the nation and the government, urging U.S. leadership to put politics aside and partisanship aside.

“This is the time for governmental leaders to stop making excuses and just do your job,” said Cuomo.

The bill includes $500 billion for large corporations as the U.S. grapples with a major economic freefall putting it on the verge of a full-blown recession as well as a $367 billion loan program for small businesses and $150 billion for assistance to state and local governments.

Individual Americans will be eligible for $1,200 in direct payments and additional $500 payments per qualifying child as long as their annual income does not exceed $75,000 or $150,000 if a household files joint returns. Unemployment insurance is also being increased, while payments on federally-held student loans are being temporarily suspended.

It also includes a $340 billion supplemental package to combat the outbreak itself, including $117 billion for hospitals, $45 billion for FEMA’s disaster relief fund and $11 billion for vaccines, therapeutics and other medical needs.

The bill is the third congressional effort to aid America in the grip of the outbreak and is the largest effort taken thus far.

His remarks came as the state has become the nation’s epicenter of the pandemic.

New York has 385 deaths from the virus, with at least 280 in New York City. The U.S. reported 1,124 deaths, according to data by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus has spread to at least 175 countries and regions.

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