Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to media representatives at the White House in Washington, DC, USA on Monday, March 24, 2020. Photographer: Oliver Contreras / Sipa / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Oliver Contreras | Sipa | Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Donald Trump and his top economist, Larry Kudlow, suggested on Tuesday that a massive coronavirus stimulation law could form the basis for an economic recovery in the United States.
“Our people want to work again,” Trump tweeted. “They will do social distancing and everything else, and seniors will be guarded and lovingly monitored. We can do two things together.”
He added that “the cure (by far) cannot be worse than the problem” – an attitude that he has repeatedly expressed in the past few days. “Congress must act now. We will come back strong!”
Meanwhile, Kudlow told White House reporters that Congress’s Economic Incentives Act could prepare the country for a recovery in the US economy in the second half of 2020.
Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, repeated Trump’s comments from a Monday night press conference that some states with a small number of confirmed cases may be able to quickly ease their restrictions. This relief could come soon after the White House’s 15-day social detachment policy expires next week, Kudlow said.
Trump has shown a sudden impatience with the extreme efforts in an increasing number of states to slow the spread of the deadly virus by closing restaurants and instructing people to stay in their homes.
These measures have already had a devastating impact on the economy, led to a drastic drop in inventories and a rapid rise in unemployment.
“At some point we will open our country and it will be pretty soon,” Trump said to the press on Monday evening.
He tweeted Tuesday morning that the more time legislators take to pass the economic law, “the harder it will be to boost our economy. Our workers will be hurt!”
Congress is trying to get the final sticking out of the bill, which is expected to cost at least $ 1 trillion. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Told CNBC Tuesday morning that there was “genuine optimism” that an agreement could be reached within a few hours.
If this law were passed, it would only provide economic relief to individuals, businesses, and healthcare facilities injured by the virus. It would not focus on flattening the growth of coronavirus cases that only increased with the availability of tests.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, whose state has the most infections in the country, said Tuesday that the recent acceleration in cases has been “worrying and astronomical” and has desperately increased the need for more hospital beds.
Even some Trump administration officials hesitated to support the president’s view that companies can reopen in a few weeks, not months. Deborah Birx, a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, wouldn’t say directly on Monday whether she agreed with Trump’s move to “reopen the country.”
“We are now pulling in all the data … I will never speculate about data. I have to see the data to really understand it,” said Birx.
The corona virus, believed to originate from the Chinese city of Wuhan, spread throughout the world within a few months. In the United States, at least 46,450 cases and 593 deaths have been confirmed by the COVID-19 virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.
As Trump pushes people back to work, other states are moving in the opposite direction. New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an order to all residents late Monday to stay at home. The state’s top health official ordered all non-essential businesses to be closed.
Few other countries are currently trying to reverse draconian measures to slow down disease transmission. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during a television speech on Tuesday evening that the country would be “totally blocked” by 1.3 billion people.