Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the Trump administration is discussing sending checks to Americans "immediately" to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Driving the news: Mnuchin, who has been working closely with bipartisan leadership on Capitol Hill to pass new legislation to provide coronavirus relief, announced a series of economic stimulus efforts at the White House designed to help small businesses, corporations and individuals.

What he's saying: "Americans need cash now," Mnuchin said. "And I mean now — in the next two weeks."

  • It's still unclear who would get money and how much, but Mnuchin indicated it would be aimed at those hurt most by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • "We don't need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks," Mnuchin said.
  • Some on Capitol Hill and liberal and conservative economists have called for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult. Mnuchin said the amount of each check "may be a little bit bigger than what's in the press."

Other highlights:

  • Mnuchin also announced that the government will defer up to $300 billion in tax payments, allowing individuals to defer up to $1 million and corporations to defer up to $10 million — interest-free and penalty-free for 90 days.
  • He said that the administration intends to keep financial markets open, but shorter hours may be necessary.

Go deeper

Small businesses face post-lockdown cash crunch

A seamstress works at a sewing machine in a tailoring shop in Palm Springs, Calif. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

U.S. macroeconomic data is broadly improving but many small businesses are facing a perilous recovery as they attempt to stay afloat after coronavirus-driven lockdowns throughout the country. That's true even for the many that received government assistance.

By the numbers: A recent poll of 7,317 small business owners by Alignable finds that 43% of firms that received money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) say they could be out of cash in a month or less.

Updated 9 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced Monday that he would sign an emergency order to again close many businesses, including indoor dining at restaurants, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, effective Wednesday.

The big picture: The move comes as cases are surging in Florida, even as the state sees an increasing gap between testing and confirmed cases.

48 mins ago - World

Ethiopia's Nobel Peace laureate cracks down on ethnic violence

The image of a Nobel Peace laureate in military fatigues encapsulates the moment in which Ethiopia finds itself — on the verge of a transition to democracy, a descent into violence or, perhaps, a precarious combination of the two.

Driving the news: At least 166 people were killed after an iconic musician, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, was murdered last Monday in Addis Ababa, the capital. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed responded to the violence by sending in troops and shutting off the internet. High-profile opposition leaders were arrested, along with some 2,300 others.