The United States could reopen the economy in the month of May amid the CCP virus pandemic, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday.
Speaking in a morning interview, Mnuchin was asked by a CNBC pundit about whether the United States could be “open for business” next month. “I do,” replied the Treasury secretary.
“I think as soon as the president feels comfortable with the medical issues, we are making everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business and that they have the liquidity to operate their business in the interim,” Mnuchin explained on the show.
The Trump administration is trying to work to get U.S. companies and Americans back to work amid stay-at-home orders and an overall economic downturn triggered by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Numerous states have issued shelter-in-place orders, only allowing residents to only go out to buy groceries, exercise, use essential services, or perform essential duties or jobs.
So far, more than 16 million Americans have made unemployment claims during the pandemic, while some economists have said the unemployment rate could surpass 20 percent.
Mnuchin’s comments came after the Federal Reserve announced measures to obtain another $2.2 trillion to finance businesses and municipalities.
President Donald Trump has said several times that he hopes Americans will be able to get back to work by Easter, April 12, although the administration has issued social distancing guidelines until the end of this month.
Senior White House officials have gone on the record and expressed optimism in interviews and briefings as the CCP virus appears to have peaked domestically. On Wednesday, Trump expressed there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”
“I think we can say that we have to be on that down side of that slope and heading to a very strong direction that this thing is gone. We could do it in phases,” Trump said when he was asked about the steps that his administration would have to take to reopen the economy.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Wednesday night that he thinks the overall number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States will be less than a prediction that 100,000 to 240,000 would die. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, told a local news outlet he believes the death toll will be “much, much lower.”
The number of virus cases surpassed 430,000 as of Thursday morning, according to researchers.