California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that five major U.S. banks will temporarily suspend home mortgage payments for people who have been affected by the coronavirus quarantine.
The Associated Press reported that Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citi, and JP Morgan Chase would “defer mortgage payments for three months,” and that state “chartered banks and credit unions will offer similar deferrals.”
“I thought the Great Recession was overwhelming, and we really had to react. This one is much bigger,” Diana Dykstra, CEO of the California-Nevada Credit Union League, told the AP. “People’s health is on the line, it’s deeper and broader than that crisis was. It was a housing crisis. This is a crisis for everyone.”
Bank of America, the fifth bank, was criticized by Newsom for allegedly agreeing to only defer mortgage payments for one month, but spokesman Bill Halldin told the AP the 30-day time frame was not a limit and that they company would consider further delaying payments depending on how long the crisis lasts.
Newsom, the AP reported, also explained that more than “1 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits since March 13 as businesses shut down or dramatically scaled back because of a statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order to prevent the spread of the virus.” More than 3 million Americans across the country have filed for unemployment benefits during that time, meaning California alone accounts for a third of the total number.
Newsom also said the Golden State is increasing its supply of medical equipment, protective gear, and hospital beds. In a press conference on Sunday, President Donald Trump announced that California would receive four large medical stations with 2,000 beds and help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as the help of a U.S. Navy hospital ship on the coast near Los Angeles. The president also said he would be sending thousands upon thousands of respirators, surgical masks, face shields, coveralls, and gloves to the state.
California would further be helped by the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed by congress this week. As The Daily Wire previously reported, the bill amounted “to some $2.2 trillion in relief measures, including $1,200 checks to most American adults (and another $500 for most children), a $500 billion loan program for struggling businesses, cities and states, nearly $400 billion for employee-retention funds for small businesses and another $130 billion for hospitals, among other provisions.”
The bill would also expand unemployment benefits, increasing weekly benefits by up to $600 on top of what is already provided by states, meaning someone in California could receive up to $1,000 a week in unemployment benefits in addition to the one-time $1,200 checks that would be passed out to American adults. The bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives soon. Democrats had previously blocked a bill that would bring relief for middle-class families while introducing their own bill loaded with left-wing demands that had nothing to do with the coronavirus crisis.