Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared on Fox News Sunday and spoke to host Chris Wallace about his predictions of the U.S. economy in the coming weeks and months amid the coronavirus pandemic, Raw Story reported. While Mnuchin appeared optimistic about America's economic recovery, Wallace pushed back and pointed to the 22.8 percent unemployment reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in April.
"That does not include the 7 million people who have lost their jobs since then," Wallace said. "Aren't we talking close to 25% at this point, which is Great Depression neighborhood?"
Mnuchin agreed that the number could be close to 25 percent. However, he noted that the current crisis was created by the voluntary shutdown of the economy, as opposed to the economic issues that drove the Great Depression.
"That's why we're focused on rebuilding this economy. We'll have a better third quarter, we'll have a better fourth quarter and next year is going to be a great year."Despite Mnuchin's optimism, Wallace was not convinced. He pointed to both Mnuchin and President Donald Trump's assertion that the economy will come "roaring back" despite predictions that suggest unemployment will be over 9 percent until the close of 2021.
"Are your rosy predictions based on economic reality or the November election?" Wallace asked Mnuchin.
Mnuchin pushed back on the notion that his numbers are overly optimistic and again suggested that the economy will recover after a "very, very bad" second quarter. According to Mnuchin, this recovery will be connected to available COVID-19 vaccines and therapies he believes will soon become available to the American people.As The Inquisitr reported, Trump spoke to Fox News on Friday and expressed confidence in his ability to bring the economy back in the wake of the record 20.5 million Americans who lost their jobs in April. Such losses are directly linked to the close of non-essential businesses, as well as layoffs from open businesses looking to reduce costs.
While the Trump administration continues to be optimistic about the potential for an economic bounce-back, others are wary. In a piece for The Atlantic, journalist and author McKay Coppins described his unsettling experience flying during the pandemic and said the plan to reopen the economy and return to pre-coronavirus normalcy is not grounded in reality.
"The glittering allure of 'normalcy' that waits on the other end of these stay-at-home orders is a mirage," he said.
Even if governors lift restrictions, Coppins claims that until the looming threat of disease is gone, things will not return to any sense of the normal that existed before coronavirus spread across the world.