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US Federal Reserve Announces Additional Steps to Help Economy 

FILE - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, March 3, 2020, in Washington.

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced Thursday a program to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans targeting U.S. businesses, local governments and households besieged by the coronavirus outbreak.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the Fed fully intended to use its powers “forcefully, proactively and aggressively” until it's confident the U.S. economy is “solidly on the road to recovery.”

The Fed announced it is activating a Main Street Business Lending Program authorized by the CARES Act, the largest economic relief package ever passed by Congress.

Powell said there was “every reason to believe that the economic rebound, when it comes, can be robust” because the economy was doing well before the virus hit.

But Powell added that while everyone wants that to happen as quickly as possible, they also want to avoid a false start, in which the economy partially reopens, coronavirus cases spike, and the nation to goes back to square one.