With millions of people facing the prospects of losing their jobs and a once-booming economy showing signs of a deep recession, President Trump says he wants the country open for business sooner than predicted even as the coronavirus continues to spread and hospitals brace for a wave of virus-related deaths.
"America will again and soon be open for business - very soon - a lot sooner than 3 or 4 months as someone was suggesting," the president said Monday during his daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House.
The Treasury Department is set to release new jobless claims on Thursday. Experts predicting the numbers could be in the millions as more states order all non-essential businesses closed and 1 out of 4 Americans are forced to stay home.
The president tweeting: "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself," adding that he's going to re-evaluate federal guidelines on social distancing next week.
"We can't shutter the economy, said Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic advisor. "The economic cost to individuals is just too great."
On Capitol Hill, gridlock as lawmakers try to come to an agreement on a near $2 trillion aid package.
"You know what Americans are thinking right now Mr. President they're thinking this country was founded by geniuses but is being run by a bunch of idiots," exclaimed an impassioned Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA).
Democrats say the plan leans too heavily in favor of corporate bailouts. The GOP accusing Democrats of trying to embed a liberal agenda.
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Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) is pushing a charitable giving amendment to the Coronavirus Aid Bill that would allow non-profit organizations to play an even stronger role in helping our nation's vulnerable individuals and families during this crisis.
"The not for profits are the bedrocks social safety net of our society," Lankford told CBN News. "The way we are set up as a culture is families take care of families, there are not for profit, churches, and entities and then the government comes in with assistance where needed at that point."
Congressional leaders and the White House say they're close to a deal and could vote today.
The Federal Reserve doing its part, agreeing to buy back government and corporate debt to keep the economy going.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases exploding in the US by 15 times since last week's guidelines were released.
New York state is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the US with more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and worries the city could run out of ventilators, masks, and other critical supplies to care for the flood of patients.
The state's governor ordering all hospitals to increase capacity by 50 percent.
"This is going to get much worse before it gets better," warned Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
More than 46,000 Americans have been infected with the virus. 593 people have died so far, 125 of those in New York City alone.