While the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the U.S., President Donald Trump is now using war terminology to describe the fight to slow the spread. On Twitter Thursday morning, Trump tried to assure Americans this is a battle "we are going to win." In a press conference hours later though, Trump put it on the shoulders of state governments to acquire tests and ventilators.
"We are going to WIN, sooner rather than later!" Trump tweeted, two days after he referred to the coronavirus as an "enemy" in a "war." During Tuesday's press conference at the White House, Trump predicted he would soon be declaring "we won." He called the virus an "invisible enemy" and would try to help those affected the most by the sliding economy.
"One day we'll be standing up here and say, 'Well, we won,'" Trump said Tuesday, reports ABC News. "And we're going to say that, as sure as you're sitting there, we're going to win. And I think we're going to win faster than people think, I hope... If we do this right, our country... and the world, frankly... but our country can be rolling again pretty quickly. Pretty quickly."
The government is now working on a stimulus package, which would include direct checks to every American. The bill could cost up to $1 trillion, reports CBS News. The Treasury Department proposed two rounds of direct payments to tax payers, totalling $250 billion each. The first would come on April 6 and the second on May 18 if the crisis continues.
"With this invisible enemy, we don't want airlines going out of business, we don't want people losing their jobs and not having money to live when they were doing well four weeks ago," Trump said Tuesday.
"They work very hard, but they work on tips," he later said of low-wage workers. "We have to take care of our people. We don't want to have people suffering during this period. It wasn't their fault that this thing all of a sudden was upon us."
On Fox Business Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $1,000 checks will be out "quickly." Under his proposal, most adults would receive $1,000 and children would receive $500. A family of four could receive as much as $3,000.
"That's a lot of money to hard-working Americans who are at home," Mnuchin said.
The White House and Congress passed two stimulus packages already, including $8.3 billion in funding for research and prevention. The second bill extends sick leave for most Americans and gives free testing for COVID-19.
During Thursday's press conference, Trump said he would enable the Defense Production Act, but would not implement it until he has to, even though critics have called him out for not ramping up medical equipment production. This has left some states struggling to find ventilators and testing.
"First of all, governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work and they are doing a lot of this work," Trump said, reports CBS News. "The federal government's not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping, you know, we're not a shipping clerk. The governors are supposed to be, as with testing, the governors are supposed to be doing it."0comments
"We'll help out and we'll help out wherever we can," the president added. "And we can buy in volume and in some cases, great volume. With the masks as an example, which were really a problem, we have helped out. And there are right now millions of masks being made. But this is really for the local governments, governors and people within the state, depending on the way they divide it up."
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