Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pushed back against reports that suggested President Donald Trump was preparing for a full shutdown of the American economy.
“I’ve seen a bunch of fake news over the last couple of days about a complete shutdown of the economy, the president has not made that decision,” Mnuchin said on a Fox Business interview with Maria Bartiromo on Monday morning.
Mnuchin said Trump would listen to the medical professionals, but would ultimately decide for himself how long to keep restrictions in place.
“If there are medical professionals, the president will listen to it, but again the president is hopeful that the policies and procedures put in place will kill this virus quickly,” he said.
Mnuchin continues to negotiate with Senate Democrats for an economic rescue package after Democrats blocked a vote led by Senate Majority Leader on Sunday night.
He urged small businesses to keep employees on the payroll for two months, promising to give them forgivable loans if they did.
“We are determined to support American business and American workers this is no fault of their own, “Mnuchin said. “This is the government has shut down vast parts of the economy because of a virus that was caused, nothing to do by American workers.”
He said the economic rescue package would be prepared for nearly $2 trillion of economic funds for both small businesses and American workers.
“We’re going to get that money out fast, so the president wants to protect small businesses and the workers, and we’re working around the clock today to make sure that the Senate passes this today,” Mnuchin said.