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President Trump said Tuesday during a Fox News virtual townhall that he wants the country’s economy re-opened by Easter amid questions over how long people should stay home and businesses be closed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking from the Rose Garden alongside others on his coronavirus taskforce, Trump said he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” The holiday this year lands on April 12.
Trump also reiterated his argument that he doesn’t want “to turn the country off” and continue to see an economic downfall from the pandemic.
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“We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off,” Trump said during the interview.
Trump added: “We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We don’t call up the automobile companies and say stop making cars. We have to get back to work.”
Trump also called on the Senate to pass a massive stimulus bill that is currently being debated between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The president blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for demanding a number of additional stipulations to the bill for the delay in its passage in the Senate.
“I cancelled the deal last night because Nancy Pelosi put in a lot of things that had nothing to do with the workers,” Trump said. “They start throwing Green New Deal stuff in, and the board rooms what they will look like … They have things that are just terrible, windmills everywhere.”
The world is battling the COVID-19 outbreak which started in the city of Wuhan, China, and has spread around the globe killing thousands. The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on March 11.
(Pictured) Two delivery boys on bicycles are seen, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 24.
A woman looks at her mobile phone as she sits near a fountain which has its statues covered with mouth masks in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 24.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks in front of stacks of medical protective supplies during a news conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center which will be partially converted into a temporary hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, on March 24.
Tailors sew protective masks at a workshop of the Aviatsiya Halychyny brand, which changed its production lines from fashion clothing to produce protective masks to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lviv, Ukraine on March 24.
A resident looks through a metal door while military police walk through the neighborhood to verify that the population follows the curfew order, as part of the measures against the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on March 24.
A security guard stands by beds installed inside the Festival palace as Cannes Mayor David Lisnard decided to open a part of the palace to welcome needy and homeless as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, on March 24.
A woman walks her dog under a “don’t panic” sign hanging at the entrance of a food market that was shut down in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 23.
A woman stands inside the disinfection chamber at Juanda International Airport, in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, March 24
Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital on March 24, in London, England. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work.
Security personnel wearing facemasks patrol on the streets in Shaheen Bagh area after removing demonstrators continuously protesting against a new citizenship law, while the government imposed a lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in New Delhi on March 24.
The Ruby Princess Cruise Ship is seen off the coast of Sydney on March 24, in Sydney, Australia. A passenger of the Ruby Princess who tested positive to COVID-19 has died in hospital this morning. There have been 133 cases of COVID-19 connected to the Ruby Princess.
People wearing facemasks buy supplies at a crowded vegetable market at Piliyandala on the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo on March 24, as the authorities briefly lifted a curfew to allow residents to stock up on essentials amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Community organizer Henry Liu maintains social distance while greeting a resident as InterIm Community Development Association delivers free food to seniors in the Chinatown-International District during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seattle, Washington, March 23.
David Vazquez, a street performer dressed as the Joker, waits in hopes of pedestrians who will pay to take pictures with him in Mexico City, March 23. Vazquez, who also worked as a trainer in a gym until it shut down today, said business for street performers has plummeted, with the few clients still stopping opting to take their pictures from a distance or posing beside him awkwardly, amid the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus. “We have to pay rent, light, gas, telephone,” said Vazquez. “Where will we get that money? We all want to work.”
A child walks next to members of the “Psalm 100” evangelical church, dressed as angels and holding placards making reference to coronavirus (COVID-19) are seen during a demonstration at the Paso del Norte international border bridge as taken from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 23.
Employees eating during lunch break at an auto plant of Dongfeng Honda on March 23 in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province. People in central China, where COVID-19 was first detected, are now allowed to go back to work and public transport has restarted, as some normality slowly returns after a two-month lockdown.
Reflecting the current coronavirus crisis, covid-free cupcakes with icing masks make an appearance at the Cheesecake House and Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand on March 23.
President Donald Trump speaks at a press conference in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House on March 23 in Washington D.C.
People maintain a safe distance as they walk along Venice Breach on March 23 in Venice, California.
Medical staff watch people waiting in line to get a coronavirus test outside the La Timone hospital in Marseille, France, on March 23.
Police officers talk to a pedestrian as they try to enforce the recently imposed curfew in the streets of Bucharest, Romania on March 23.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks as he leads a video teleconference with governors about the coronavirus, during a trip to FEMA on March 23 in Washington D.C.
Empty streets in Tunis reflect the nationwide quarantine declared by the government to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus in Tunisia on March 23.
Cleaning crew in protective gear spray public places with disinfectant to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the Icarai neighborhood in Niteroi, Brazil on March 23.
Stores put up guidelines limiting purchase of high-demand items like toilet paper at Target in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Seating areas closed off at McDonalds, Eltham branch, during the last day of trading on March 23 in London, England.
Members of Joint Task Force 2, composed of soldiers and airmen from the New York Army and Air National Guard, arrive to sanitize and disinfect the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, in New Rochelle, New York, on March 23.
Employees of the Vienna International Airport reload boxes with medical protective gear during the spread of coronavirus disease at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Austria, on March 23.
Filipino street dwellers rest in tents, set up as a makeshift evacuation centre, amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Manila, Philippines, on March 23.
A woman wearing a face mask arrives at the South Municipal cemetery in Madrid, on March 23, to attend the burial of a man who died of the new coronavirus. The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged to 2,182 after 462 people died within 24 hours, the health ministry said.
A drone photo shows nearly empty highways after precautions against coronavirus, including call for “stay home” and the curfew to people over 65, are taken in Izmir, Turkey on March 23.
Alice and Joseph Wilkinson take part in a youtube P.E. class at their home in Manchester, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Manchester, Britain, on March 23.
A Buddhist monk has his temperature checked after a chant session in a pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Mar. 23.
A family watches a movie from their car at a drive-in theater as South Koreans take measures to protect themselves against the spread of coronavirus on March 23, in Seoul, South Korea.
Workers assemble a temporary field hospital at the Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 23.
People travel in a crowded bus to return to their cities and villages before the start of the lockdown by West Bengal state government to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease, in Kolkata, India on March 23.
Times Square stands mostly empty as as much of the city is void of cars and pedestrians over fears of spreading the coronavirus on March 22 in New York City.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison covers his mouth during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House on March 23, in Canberra, Australia. Parliament is sitting as scheduled but with restrictions in place to limit the number of people in chamber to observe social distancing rules in place due to COVID-19. Morrison announced late on Sunday that bars, clubs, cinemas, gyms and restaurants, along with other venues, would be closed.
Medical staff walk in front of a COVID-19 test center set up in a tent outside a doctor’s office in Berlin on March 23.
The relative of an inmate cries outside La Modelo jail in Bogota, Colombia on March 22. Violence broke out in the prison out of inmates’ fears that authorities are not doing enough to prevent coronavirus inside overcrowded prisons.
People wearing protective face masks, sit on social-distancing benches at a bus station in Thailand on March 22.
French soldiers set up a military field hospital in eastern France on March 22 amid a strict lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
People look on as stalls of a market are cleared away ahead of disinfection measures in Dakar, Senegal on March 22.
Residents clap and bang utensils from their balconies March 22 to cheer for emergency personnel and sanitation workers who are on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus in Mumbai, India.
Pastor Billy Jones leads a drive-in church service to churchgoers in their cars in the car park of Dunseverick Baptist Church following government advice to avoid all non-essential contact on March 22 in Bushmills, Northern Ireland.
The MSC Fantasia cruise ship, coming from Brazil with 1,338 passengers, of which 27 are Portuguese citizens, is docked in the Cruise Terminal from the Miradouro das Portas do Sol on March 22 in Lisbon, Portugal. Portuguese passengers were scheduled to disembark and the others will get off the ship after being screened.
Rev. Micah Muhlen, OFM, prays prior to a modest and shortened service at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Basilica on March 22 in Phoenix, Arizona.
A yard sign shows support for nurses and doctors on March 22 in Nolensville, Tenn. Several residents in the neighborhood put up signs thanking medical personnel for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.
People walk around Washington Square Park with markings on the ground to maintain social distance on March 22 in New York City.
Church services were recorded for live streaming March 22 on YouTube at St Peter’s Church in St Albans, Britain.
Slideshow by photo services
Democrats have complained that the Republican-led draft of the aid package did not go far enough to provide health care and unemployment aid for Americans, and failed to put restraints on a proposed $500 billion “slush fund” for corporations, saying the ban on corporate stock buy-backs are weak and the limits on executive pay would last only two years.
Schumer said Democrats also want included in the bill new collective bargaining powers for unions, higher fuel emissions standards for airlines, and expanded wind and solar tax credits.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of trying to extract concessions from airlines over their “carbon footprint,” with the economy hanging in the balance.
“They ought to be embarrassed,” he said on Monday. “This is no time for this nonsense.”
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The nearly $2 trillion stimulus package would include direct financial help to Americans in the form of stimulus checks sent out to many Americans. The proposal would include a one-time payment of $1,200 per adult, $2,400 per couple in the U.S. and up to $3,000 for a family of four.
An estimated $350 billion would be provided for small businesses to keep making payroll. Companies with 500 or fewer employees could tap up to $10 million each in forgivable small business loans to keep paychecks flowing.
The bill also includes an additional $242 billion in additional emergency appropriations to fight the virus and shore up for safety net programs. That includes money for food stamps, child nutrition, hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health and transportation agencies. The figure has gone significantly higher during talks over the weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.