“The economy has essentially ground to a halt,” the reporter began his question.
“Thanks for telling us, we appreciate it,” Trump snapped back.
The reporter continued to note the store closures and slowed travel before Trump impatiently prodded him along.
“Go ahead, what’s the rest of your question. We know that. Everyone in the room knows that.”
The reporter eventually asked Trump how long unemployed workers and business owners in financially difficult positions would have to deal with the current “state of affairs.”
“We’ll be able to tell you that, I think, in the very near future,” Trump responded.
As reported by The Hill, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Thursday that the White House’s next coronavirus stimulus is a $1 trillion package that would provide every American adult with $1,000 and another $500 with each child.
Per USA Today, the recent relief package also aims to help major industries that have been harmed by the economic shutdown, as well as small businesses that are forced to provide mandated paid leave under a second relief package — the Families First Coronavirus Response Act — that was passed Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed uncertainty about the timeline for executing the new bill but suggested he was eager to help small businesses stay afloat.
“Just how long it will take to get through these steps is unclear. But as everyone knows, we are moving rapidly because the situation demands it.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 19, 2020
According to The Hill, the latest bill is set to be the third and most substantial part of the Trump administration’s response to the current pandemic. The first was an $8.3 billion boost that focused on supporting first responders and health agencies; while the second was the previously mentioned Families First bill, which funneled $104 billion toward expanding unemployment insurances, enacting emergency paid leave, and ensuring free coronavirus testing.
While Trump’s White House continues to support emergency measures to save the economy amid the spread of COVID-19, it’s unclear how this response affect his re-election chances. The Washington Post, citing a forecast from political scientist Alan Abramowitz, claims that a “severe recession” will not just prevent Trump from winning in 2020 but exacerbate the loss more than pundits expect.
According to Abramowitz, the U.S. GDP could decrease by as much as 5 percent in the second quarter, and this loss could run into the third quarter.
“Only time will settle whether this prediction is correct,” Sargent wrote.