3. Trump wants to turn the economy back on
The $2 trillion stimulus Trump signed yesterday is only the beginning of what will be a long, uneven effort to blunt the coronavirus’ economic damage.
Driving the news: That package will put up to $1,200 in Americans' pockets, plus $500 for each of their children, but that will end up as money to stay afloat in a crisis, not a true stimulus, per Axios' Dion Rabouin.
Trump is clearly eager to restart the country's frozen economy, but some advisers are trying to steer him away from his Easter timeline for doing so.
- Advisers are worried that if Trump sets a specific date as a turning point, only to see the outbreak continue to worsen — as it's doing every day — that could be worse for markets than acknowledging a long haul ahead.
- But Trump "feels more convinced than ever that America needs to get back to work,” a top official told Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
What’s next: The administration has framed the current phase of extreme social distancing as a 15-day project, and the 15 days run out Monday — creating a self-imposed deadline to either keep things locked down or begin to open them up.
What’s after that: More than 3 million people filed for unemployment in one week, and that is not the bottom.
- The $2 trillion in last week’s “phase three” stimulus/recovery bill is about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product, but there will very likely be a phase four.
Go deeper: Jonathan and Dan go behind the scenes on Trump’s timeline