Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Wells Fargo reiterated Monday night that it will not open up its small business Paycheck Protection Program loans to companies with more than 50 employees, despite an announcement from the Fed that it would set up a facility to buy the loans from banks.

Why it matters: Wells Fargo's announcement shows that even with a Fed backstop one of the country's largest banks will still not be participating in a program designed to help businesses on the verge of collapse because of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The Fed's facility is designed take the loans off of banks' balance sheets, freeing them up to provide loans to more firms.

Background: Because of restrictions placed on Wells Fargo after its fake accounts scandal, the bank has told customers it must turn away struggling small business customers, as Axios' Courtenay Brown noted.

  • Customers were left wondering why the bank didn't signal its lending limitations sooner, since it has been operating under the asset cap since 2018.
  • Wells Fargo declined to comment on that or the Fed's program.

What we're hearing: The faulty rollout and bank issues associated with PPP have put the futures of companies and employees in serious jeopardy as many were counting on the program to survive the next couple months.

  • Joe Shamie, CEO of furniture manufacturer Delta Children, told Axios he has "held up [his] end of the bargain" and kept employees on payroll, even as he's had to dip into his own savings.
  • However, if he's not able to access government funding through the program soon he's not sure what comes next.

The big picture: The $350 billion government-backed program, a key part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, the CARES Act, has been plagued by problems since even before it launched on Friday.

  • Banks say they are still unable to access Small Business Administration platforms, and businesses consistently report issues accessing application forms.
  • The SBA loan processing platform crashed and was down for hours on Monday, preventing lenders from processing any loans, Bloomberg reported.

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 19,792,519— Total deaths: 730,089 — Total recoveries — 12,060,877Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,044,821 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The findings in the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S., with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing Friday that school districts in the state can reopen in the fall amid lower coronavirus transmission rates.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.