President Donald Trump announced several major steps forward on Monday at the White House to help Americans suffering economically from fears of the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are going to take care of and have been taking care of the American public and the American economy,” Trump said.
The president announced that he would meet with lawmakers in Washington, DC, on Tuesday to discuss a payroll tax cut, financial assistance for hourly wage earners, loans for small businesses, and financial assistance for the airline and cruise industries.
“It’s not their fault, and it’s not this country’s fault,” Trump said about the people affected financially by the ongoing fight.
The president’s solutions echoed several proposals detailed by Breitbart Senior Economics Editor John Carney on Monday morning.
Trump again praised his own decision to suspend travel from China and establish screening in airports, noting that it helped slow the spread of the virus while Americans could prepare for the response.
Trump also thanked Vice President Mike Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force for their efforts.
“We have a very strong economy, but this blindsided the world and I think we’ve handled it very, very well,” Trump said.
Pence repeated his assertion from medical professionals that the risk of contracting the coronavirus was still low.
“The risk of contracting the coronavirus to the American public remains low, and the risk of serious disease among the American public also remains low,” he said.
The vice president urged all Americans to visit the website coronavirus.gov for details on how to fight the virus, including “common sense” ways to mitigate the spread.
“Together we will get through the coronavirus,” Pence said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reaffirmed his confidence in the strength of the economy, despite the historic slump in the stock market on Monday, calling it “the most resilient economy in the world.”
He said that the president would act to provide “whatever support is needed” to help strengthen the economy in the upcoming days.
The president appeared at the White House press briefing room with his team on Monday evening to discuss the response to the spread of the virus after returning to Washington, DC from Florida.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced that he would isolate himself after learning he had personal contact with a person at CPAC who tested positive for coronavirus, after traveling to Washington from Florida with the president on Air Force One,
Gaetz was put into a “closed up” room on Air Force One after he found out he might have been exposed to the virus, according to a reporter who spoke to the congressman. Gaetz spent the weekend with Trump, traveling and dining with the president, including at a fundraiser on Monday, prompting questions about whether or not he was in danger of contracting the disease.
Twenty-six people have died from the virus with over 690 Americans testing positive for the disease.
Trump did not answer any questions at the press briefing, and Pence said he was unaware whether or not the president had been tested but reassured reporters that he was being monitored by his doctors. Pence also confirmed that he himself had not been tested for the disease.