US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, March 22, 2020, that Washington has speeded up to inject a huge amount for nation’s economic relief budget, which was approved by the US Congress, as part of measures to save from further escalation of the economic impact of coronavirus epidemic in the country.
Several critics attacked the Trump administration due to delaying the response to the virus outbreak amid the serious concern that the nation’s economy might turn into recession.
Coronavirus Economic Package
Mnuchin explained that coronavirus economic relief bill, which has been finalized by the US Congress, would include a one-time $3,000 payment for families and allow the Federal Reserve to set up to $4 trillion of liquidity to support the nation’s economy. Mnuchin, speaking on the “Fox News Sunday” television program, said the new additional liquidity measures would enable the US central bank to support a large business base in 90 to 120 days.
The Trump administration officials expected to finalize the legislation of this bill through voting on Monday while keeping the option that a broader policy could be implemented if the crisis remained surge in 10 to 12 weeks. Mnuchin explained that the US economy had been affected by the virus outbreak but it would rebound once the virus got contained. He added, “We need to get the money into the economy now. If we do that, we think we can stabilize the economy.”
With the increasing rate of the virus infection, the lockdown happened in the US in various states including New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Jersey which affected nearly one in four Americans or 80 million people, who chose to stay indoors. Many other states are expected to follow up the similar statewide lockdowns in a bid to contain the rapid spread of the highly contagious respiratory illness.
Responses on Country’s Recession
Terming it a “technical question,” Mnuchin denied a possibility of a recession and replied that the question was not “terribly relevant” in the current situation as the US government has been effectively handling the health crisis by taking various steps.
Mnuchin explained, “When people focus on recessions, it’s normally because of a prolonged economic environment.” Citing the emerging threat from the virus outbreak, he added, “This is a very unique situation that we’ve never had before. This is the government has self-imposed shutting down large parts of the economy. And as soon as we can get the medical situation under control, we’re going to reopen it.”
Moreover, Mnuchin had refused to comment on a report questioning why the Trump administration delayed in taking decisions about the virus epidemic despite several warnings from the US intelligence community. He defended the administration and Trump by claiming that no one had expected such a sudden escalation of the virus at that high rate.
Many critics have criticized the administration for its slow preparation and response to the virus crisis and argued that the US President, Donald Trump underestimated the situation for weeks without listening to warnings from the experts. In response, Mnuchin said, “I don’t think that anybody should second guess the government’s actions… This has been moving very quickly and I think we’ve responded appropriately.”
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