President Trump said his administration could try to block states from releasing prisoners during the coronavirus outbreak, as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court mulls an ACLU push to release inmates.

“We don’t like it,” Trump said. “The people don’t like it, and we’re looking to see if I have the right to stop it in some cases. … Some people are getting out that are very serious criminals in some states, and I don’t like that. I don’t like it.”

Boston: Accused killer sent home to shelter-in-place during coronavirus pandemic

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court has taken under advisement a call to let inmates out as coronavirus cases appear in jails.

Also on Thursday, White House officials said the $1,200 coronavirus relief checks to millions of Americans will start appearing in peoples’ bank accounts in the next two weeks.

“We are delivering on our commitments,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said about the stimulus direct cash payments, part of the unprecedented $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill amid the economic crisis.

“We want to get this money quickly into your hands,” Mnuchin said.

He dismissed claims that it will take months for people to get checks. A memo obtained by The Associated Press stated that some people without direct deposit information may not get checks until mid-August.

Mnuchin promised checks would go out in weeks for people without direct deposit.

“This money does people no good if it shows up in four months,” he said.

The IRS is working on a portal for people to update and input their direct deposit information.

As part of the coronavirus bill package, small businesses will get loans to keep employees on payroll. That Paycheck Protection Program will be “up and running” on Friday, Mnuchin said.

“You’ll get the money. You’ll get it the same day. You’ll use this to pay your workers,” Mnuchin told business owners. “Please, bring your workers back to work if you’ve let them go.”

Trump also announced new guidelines for nursing homes to minimize the spread of the virus at these vulnerable facilities.

“By now, nursing homes should have suspended the entry of all medically unnecessary personnel,” Trump said. “Today we’re further recommending that all nursing home facilities assign the same staff to care for the same group of residents consistently to minimize any potential spread.

“We’re also urging facilities to designate separate areas for healthy and sick residents,” he said.

More than 240,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus — the most confirmed cases in the world. Nearly 6,000 people have died from the disease.

Herald wire services were used in this report.


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