Federal Update: Mnuchin Says Treasury Ready to Provide More Money, Take More Risk in Fed Lending Programs; Trump Awards Contract to Company to Make Coronavirus Drugs in U.S.

May 19, 2020

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told senators Tuesday that his department and the Fed are “fully prepared to take losses in certain scenarios” on the capital remaining to be distributed from the CARES Act. Mnuchin did not describe the “certain scenarios” in which he is prepared to take losses, but he emphasized that the Treasury is ready to distribute the entire $500 billion initially appropriated to help struggling businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • President Trump has awarded a $354 million four-year contract to Virginia-based Phlow Corp. by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development to manufacture generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients that are needed to treat COVID-19. The company says it is manufacturing ingredients and finished dosage forms for more than a dozen medicines to treat the virus, many of which are in short supply and were previously made in India and China and imported. The contract could potentially be extended to $812 million over 10 years.
  • Cities that have spent years trying to lure people out of their cars and convincing them to ride buses and trains are now begging them to do the opposite. Transit agencies are watching their revenues shrivel while trying to redesign their systems for the remaining few still riding them. For now, being starved of their ridership is a mercy: There’s no way they can handle pre-pandemic levels of use while keeping people at least six feet apart.

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