Coronavirus update: Negotiators reach deal on $2tn package; Trump hopes for Easter reopening
US Senate leaders finally reached a deal with the Trump administration over the massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package after midnight on Wednesday.
“We have a deal,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland told reporters at about 1 a.m. local time. “We have either, clear, explicit legislative text reflecting all parties or we know exactly where we’re going to land on legislative text as we continue to finish.”
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also confirmed the deal. The bill now will first got the House and then to President Donald Trump for approval.
This economic package includes payments of up to $1,200 to most adults and expands unemployment insurance. The bill also has a $367 billion provision for the small businesses, to help them pay salaries to the employees who stayed home due to the outbreak.
Separately, Trump also continues to lay the groundwork for rolling back social distancing guidelines. On Tuesday, speaking at a White House briefing, Trump said that he hopes the country would get back to normal by Easter, i.e. by 12 April.
Trump said that he was beginning "to see the light at the end of the tunnel," but added that "our decision will be based on hard facts and data."
However, many don’t agree with Trump over lifting the restrictions too early. In a report on Tuesday, Investment bank Morgan Stanley said (via CNN) that if “White House were to relax the social distancing measures 'soon,' well ahead of the necessary timeline to have a significant impact on our view, it would raise the risk of increasing the peak or delaying the time to peak."
Many also believe that Trump has political motives behind lifting the restrictions early. A strong rebound in the economy could help Trump with reelection.
"Suicides by the Thousands"
There’s nothing wrong with the President wanting to have the country open by Easter IF it’s in line with expert medical advice. Get the people back to work, boost the economy, make the world a better place. Seems like a dream. That’s because it is. During Trumps press conference today his own director of infectious disease was unable to directly support Trumps plan. Dr. Fauci was adamant in representing the idea that this is a day by day situation. In saying this he is refuting the confidence the President has in his proposed timeline.
Trumps fixation on reopening the country rests entirely on his concern with the ailing economy. As the economy has been one of the self-touted successes of his Presidency, he is desperate to see the markets turn around and reflect positively on him. The callousness of the Presidents desire is best represented through comments made today by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Patrick framed Senior citizens vulnerability to the virus as a choice between their “Survival or keeping the America that America loves”. For Trump and Patrick, the economy is more important than the preventable deaths of what could be millions of Americans.
To appreciate the inanity of Trumps timeline look at one of the arguments he made on Fox news today. Trump argues that deaths from the coronavirus won’t matter, because if the country doesn’t re-open soon there will be “suicides by the thousands”. I can’t even process the broken logic of the thought. Deaths by the thousands due to the virus don’t matter, but if its due to the economy then they magically begin to matter??
There is no excuse to defend this type of disregard for human life. Every economy in the world is suffering right now, so the argument that It will be more beneficial for America to lose the lives of many of its citizens or else be eclipsed by other world powers is nonsense. At a time when The President could show some backbone, and value life over his personal image, he has taken the lowest possible route.
The left continues parsing Trumps words for him, a job they've relished since before he was elected. And why not, Trump speaks in loose terms, inexact language, he speaks in the style of a sales guy from Queens NY, true to his background. Often over hyping, downplaying or exaggerating opportunities, threats or challenges, like it or not, this has been Trump's style of speaking all his life, from before he was President through to the present. Depending on where you stand, this shoot from the hip, off the cuff style of communications is either Trump's greatest weakness or one of his greatest strengths.
Either way, the media revels in taking Trump's comments and finding the absolute worst possible meaning in them, because that sells headlines. If Trump says, "I'd love to get Americans back to work by Easter", the media puts that through their 'Trump Filter' and out comes: "Trump ignores advice of medical professionals and wants people back to work by Easter.". This, despite the fact that Trump clearly explained that whatever date it ends up being will be selected based on "hard facts and data", and despite Dr. Fauci clearly saying the situation is "fluid" and changes day by day, and despite Trump clearly stating Easter is the "goal" and "would be" great if possible ("would", not "will", or "must") . Forget that the article says "considering" not "decided". Then, true to form, the media solicits a quote from medical professionals cautioning that a decision to get people back to work by Easter is risky and ill advised. This would be funny if this wasn't so serious.
When Trump says the solution can't be worse than the problem, he is absolutely right; if we close down chunks of the economy indefinitely we'll cause mass suffering not seen since the Great Depression. And yes, many people did commit suicide then, whether it's thousands or not, that only seems to matter to the media, who will surely fact check "did thousands commit suicide during the Great Depression" and when the answer comes back 1,999 or 999, they will rejoice.
We Cannot Let the Cure Be Worse than the Problem
It’s a line we’ve all heard the President repeat again and again: “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem.” It’s more than some catchy one-liner, its truth.
When President Trump expressed hope at “reopening” the country by Easter Sunday, the Leftist Media went nuts, accusing Trump and anyone who backed his “lunacy” of ignoring the doctors and scientists. "Our decision will be based on hard facts and data, and I'm also hopeful to have Americans working—again, by that beautiful Easter day. Rest assured every decision we make is grounded solely in the health, safety, and well-being of our citizens,” Trump said. First off, he admitted the timeline was not set in stone. It’s a goal. Secondly, he reiterated the point that any decision would be based on “hard facts and data.” It doesn’t sound like he’s ready to spurn Dr. Fauci and do whatever he wants.
The Leftist Media has also accused Trump of disregard for human life because of his desire to get America working again. In an effort to caricature Trump’s desire to reopen our economy, they have accused the President and Republicans of caring only for their wallets and portfolios. That is absolute garbage. It is not about a portfolio…it is about people’s livelihoods.
Yes, this virus is a dangerous, destructive force, but we cannot self-destruct ourselves out of fear over COVID-19. Consider that economists are predicting a thirty percent unemployment rate when this is over. Consider that California received eighty-thousand unemployment claims in one day. If people can’t work, they can’t eat. And if people can’t eat, they can’t live. It’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately, a large majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. What happens when those Americans miss once, two, three, four paychecks. Government stimulus checks can help, but we cannot rely on the government to economically sustain a majority of the population.
The fact of the matter is America needs to get back to work as quickly as it is safe to do so. We must not self-destruct.
If people can’t work, and can’t eat, but they live in the strongest economy that the world has ever seen, don’t you think something is amiss?
These are unprecedented times in the modern world. We’ve never had such organization and simultaneous action across the globe to deal with so large a problem. When the Spanish military is walking into abandoned nursing homes and finding the corpses of the elderly left behind, I think it’s worth while for us to shift our thinking, if only for a few months.
Yes, Trump is saying he will listen to medical experts. But continues to use his position of power to apply pressure on the entire American political apparatus to make his wishes come true. America (although experts warn it could become the next epicentre of the outbreak) should open its businesses almost in full by Easter. Why not? It’s a Christian country, lets make a Christian holiday the focal point. He lied dormant for three days and then hallelujah rejoice, the twelve saw him in Galilee. It would be a nice little analogy to the closing and re-opening of the United States, don’t you think?
The idea that “leftists” are trying to self destruct the American economy instead of, oh, I don’t know, listening to the advice given by the World Health Organization and CDC, which nearly every country in the world is following, is a bold right hook. OF COURSE the world must move on from this, economies must re-open, and things must get back to normal. AND THEY WILL, 100 PERCENT. We are on the ever crucial Road the Jericho. Do we stop and help the wounded by the roadside, or march on with our business? We will get where we want to be. The world perseveres, societies do not fade so easily, and the United States will come out of this catastrophe as the superpower it is. But what we do on the way there is the marker of a countries character.