The current rise in infections and hospitalizations due to the coronavirus is "very much a concern" because it could scare people from engaging in economic activity and slow the economy, Powell said. There has been no recent movement toward new government support programs to extend a safety net for families and businesses expanded in a first round of fiscal relief in March.
Powell said the recent news that experimental vaccines had been highly effective in trials is "certainly good" in the medium term, but he noted that in the best case they won't be widely available for months. "With the virus now spreading at a fast rate, the next few months will be very challenging," he said.
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