On Friday, during a White House meeting with congressional Republicans, President Donald Trump suggested that certain Democratic Party politicians don’t want the United States economy to recover from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Per Politico, Trump first pointed to anti-lockdown protest movements that have popped up across the nation, arguing that Americans are eager to get back to work.
“The people want to come back. You see what’s going on at statehouses all over the country. They want to come back,” he said.
However, the president suggested that some Democratic politicians don’t want the economy to recover.
“I think some people don’t want it really to come back, for political reasons, which is sick.”
“But the people — the real people, the people that want this country to be great, and great again — we can say they want to get back,” Trump continued.
The commander-in-chief made the remarks on the heels of the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the report, the unemployment rate in the United States is currently at 14.7 percent — the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. This means that the country lost more than 20 million jobs in April.
As Politico notes, Trump has previously argued that Democrats would gladly let the United States go through a recession in order to win in November. Most recently, during an appearance on Fox & Friends, he said that Democratic politicians are pushing back against reopening the country in order to “hurt me in the election.”
“They’re being ridiculous. I’ve looked at a couple of states that are being absolutely ridiculous,” he added.
Trump has long argued in favor of fully reopening the economy, repeatedly asserting that “the cure” to the COVID-19 pandemic should not be worse than the virus itself. Last month, the president went as far as to voice support for anti-lockdown demonstrators, encouraging them to “liberate” their states.
Trump’s insistence on reopening the economy has caused friction between governors and the White House. Notably, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week that the White House has not done enough to help states handle the coronavirus pandemic, effectively forcing governors to come up with solutions on their own.
On Friday, Trump also acknowledged that more people will die from COVID-19 than initially thought. In late April, he said that between 50,000 and 60,000 Americans could die from complications caused by the virus. In the following weeks, he raised the prediction to 70,000 and then 100,000. Now, the president expects the death toll to reach 110,000.