President Trump on Tuesday night set out two concepts that his administration is considering to reopen the economy, one on a regional basis and the other nationwide.
During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity Trump said he’d like to get the economy back with “a big bang.”
“We’re starting to look at it very, very thoroughly, we have some great people looking at it because we want to get this country open,” Trump said. “We have to get our country open again. This [country] wasn’t designed to have this — you crack it, you crack it in half. It’s no good.”
“We’ll be open again much sooner rather than later,” he pledged.
“I’d love to open with a big bang, one beautiful country and just open,” Trump said, although he added that some say that might not be the best way.
“We’re looking at two concepts,” Trump explained. “We’re looking at the concept where you open up sections, and we’re also looking at the concept where you open up everything.” He noted that some spots — like New York City, New Jersey, Detriot — have been much harder and may take a while for the upward curve of infections to drop off.
Trump suggested that some places where the curve is flattening more quickly could reopen sooner.
Which way to go, Trump said, will be announced “in the near future.”
Trump also expressed optimism in a Wednesday post on Twitter.
“Once we OPEN UP OUR GREAT COUNTRY, and it will be sooner rather than later, the horror of the Invisible Enemy, except for those that sadly lost a family member or friend, must be quickly forgotten,” the president tweeted. “Our Economy will BOOM, perhaps like never before!!!”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that President Trump is looking into reopening parts of the U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic moves toward its peak, which White House experts say will be this week.
“The president is very much looking at how we can reopen parts of the economy,” Mnuchin said on Fox Business. “There are parts of the country, like New York, where obviously this is very, very concerning. There are other parts of the country where it’s not.”
Mnuchin also offered a bit of comfort to owners of small businesses, saying, “If you can’t get the loans today or tomorrow, don’t worry. There will be money; if we run out of money we’ll go back for more,” adding, “I know the president is very much looking at how we can reopen parts of the economy.”
Fox host Maria Bartiromo said, “We’re in lockdown. Do you think that this next eight weeks they’ll open up in the time that they can actually use the money and make sure that the employee has the money but they’re also going to actually get revenue in so that they can open up again? Because this is an eight-week period that they’re giving money to employees and they’ve got no revenue. They’re in lockdown. So at some point, they may have to fire that person anyway, because they won’t make it.”
Well, Maria, the whole point of them hiring these people now is because they have no revenues. The government is giving them money to pay their employees. And if eight weeks from now we need more money, we’ll go back to Congress. But the whole purpose of this is we understand small business has no revenues, and that’s no fault of their own; that’s because of the coronavirus. We’re going to kill this virus, and during this period the president wants to make sure that employees are paid.
So the whole purpose of this is people have zero revenues. Go take the loan, pay your employees, use the 25% overhead and pay rent and electricity and other things, and at the end of the period, as long as you use the money for what you’re supposed to use, the loan will be forgiven. And the only time we’d ever come back against somebody is if the money was used for fraudulent purposes … Now let me just encourage everybody out there: If you can’t get the loans today or tomorrow, don’t worry. There will be money; if we run out of money we’ll go back for more.