Senate passes measure to provide sick leave, free testing amid coronavirus outbreak

The Trump administration seeks to give $500 billion in direct payments to Americans, $300 billion to small businesses, $150 billion to help with loans and $50 billion to the airline industry.
4:21 | 03/19/20

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Transcript for Senate passes measure to provide sick leave, free testing amid coronavirus outbreak
The senate today is passed a measure to provide sick leave and free testing amid the corona virus outbreak this is the administration continues to work on other measures to boost the economy. The biggest plan is president trumps proposal to inject potentially more than a trillion dollars into the economy. Half of that disbursed in two rounds of checks potentially worth a thousand dollars to Americans under a certain income level. The plan also calls for a loan program for small businesses worth up to 300 billion dollars in more money for the airline industry and other distressed sectors. Like hotels and hospitality. ABC's senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega has the details. Facing a growing pandemic and an economic crisis president trump today labeled himself a wartime commander in chief I view it as the it is it's a wartime president the president is pushing congress to approve a massive trillion dollar economic recovery package. Including 500 billion dollars in direct payments to Americans two rounds of checks sent out on April 6 and may eighteenth. 300 billion for small businesses and a fifty billion dollar bailout for the hard hit airline industry his Treasury Secretary Steve menu chin warning lawmakers about what could happen without government intervention. He says that unemployment could skyrocket to 20% are we look. Rival the Great Depression I'm looking at actually. Or other kind of agree degradation and yet not a degree that's the absolute total worst case scenario. That don't we don't look at that room. More and more the president is now pointing the finger at China. Repeatedly calling the disease the Chinese virus there are reports of dozens of incidents of bias biased against Chinese Americans in this country. You're only eight secretary kids are says he does not use this turns his ethnicity doesn't harm the risk. Why it's using this comes injuries. Etc. assistant Hulu matter who comes from chain. That's what he's also on the defensive against claims that he wasted crucial time by downplaying the threat for months and one day it's like a miracle it will disappear today president trump falsely claimed the virus quote snuck up on us. Brazilian Vega joins us now Cecilia where her the president continue to blame China when you pressed him during today's briefing what response. In the room to that. It led to lab bit of an awkward moment in their today Lindsay because after right I pressed the president on this calling it the Chinese virus I asked the people standing behind him. Are you okay with with him using this language do you agree with this language and I got to stay they all stood there. With blank expressions on their face and I push them again as they were walking out the room and they could very clearly hear me and they would not answer and here it bears repeating this is why Lindsay this is so important this is not just. Offensive language to many this is not just what many redeeming racist language this potentially dangerous language we have been talking with watch groups today who tell us that they are seeing. Incidents of bias against Asian Americans in this country on the rise and they directly attributed to Elaine would you like this linking this virus to the Wuhan virus the Chinese virus the president today. Said that he did not think it was racist even college but Kong flu that's a term that came up reportedly a conversation with my colleague at CBS Sena. And an anonymous White House official here. But you know those owning health and officials who were standing behind the president have publicly said in past in the past. No one should be using this language because ethnicity is not what causes it but Lindsay I'm willing to bet the president as. Act and stop and and we just had a piece last week talking about the very issues first Chinese people feeling that they needed to buy guns to protect themselves but. Another notable moment in that briefing when asked about concerns that athletes and other well connected people are getting priority access to testing the president responded by saying quote. That's the story of life. Yeah yes. Yet that's exactly what he said and and and you know this because this comes after stories like the entire Brooklyn nets team. Getting tested for players on the team tested positive but the entire team got the test. The entire U Todd jazz team in the NBA also was tested for corona virus and meantime we're hearing from doctors and patients frankly all of this country who say. They need to test they can't get the test the president said he didn't know if it was actually the case that. The rich and famous are getting to cut to the front of the line but you heard it he said that is the story of life. All right Cecilia Vega from the White House thank you Cecilia.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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