Mar 18, 2020 - Health

Sanders proposes giving every U.S. household $2,000 during coronavirus outbreak

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses his plan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak during a livestream on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Photo: berniesanders.com via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Tuesday a plan to give American households $2,000 a month and for gig economy workers to receive unemployment payouts during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

What he's saying: "In this unprecedented moment, this will require an unprecedented amount of money. My own guess is that we’ll be spending $2 trillion in funding to prevent deaths, job losses, and to avoid an economic catastrophe."

The big picture: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier Tuesday the Trump administration is discussing sending checks to Americans "immediately" to help alleviate the economic impact of the outbreak.

  • Conservative economists have called for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult, Axios' Alayna Treen notes.
  • Mnuchin said the amount of each check "may be a little bit bigger than what's in the press."

Go deeper

Mnuchin denies Trump has been "wrong" about his own coronavirus policies

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that President Trump has gotten things "wrong" about his own coronavirus proposals, despite the administration having to walk back several of the policies Trump outlined in his Oval Office address on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The president's credibility is being called into question during a global health crisis that is likely to worsen.

AOC calls for direct coronavirus payments to be "universal"

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" that direct cash payments designed to curb the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic should be provided to all Americans, regardless of income levels.

Why it matters: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "Phase 3" stimulus package proposal would send $1,200 payments to every American making less than $75,000 annually. The payment amount would be reduced by $5 for every $100 that an individual earns over $75,000 and phased out entirely for individuals making more than $99,000.

WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ezekiel Emanuel, special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

Go deeperArrowFeb 27, 2020 - Health