Updated Mar 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump announces proposals to boost economy in response to coronavirus


Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said at a press conference Monday that he will be meeting with Senate Republican leaders tomorrow to discuss proposals for a "very substantial" payroll tax cut and relief for hourly workers in order to stem economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Spiraling concerns over the global impacts of the coronavirus have sent the stock market into free fall, with some investors increasingly worried that a recession is inevitable. Stocks closed 7% down on Monday amid coronavirus fears and tanking oil prices, capping the most dramatic day since the depths of the financial crisis.

What they're saying: Trump — who did not address any public health solutions to the outbreak — left without taking questions and said he would hold another news conference on the economic proposals on Tuesday. The White House has pledged to address the impact on business but also workers who have to stay home.

  • Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the coronavirus response task force, said the risk to the American public of contracting the virus remains "low."
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the outbreak "is not like the financial crisis, where we don’t know the end in sight." "This is about providing proper tools and liquidity to get through the next few months," he said.

CPAC case: During the briefing, there were questions about whether Pence and Trump had been exposed to a coronavirus patient at CPAC 2020 last month, as several lawmakers went into self-quarantine after coming into contact with the person at the conference. The vice president said that he had not yet taken a test.

  • The White House released a statement later Monday saying, "The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with more comment from the news conference and the White House statement.

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