On Tuesday (March 17), Donald Trump held a press conference to update the public on the government’s efforts to get ahead of the coronavirus (COVID-19). While the U.S. economy has encountered a massive financial hit as businesses continue to temporarily shutter, the administration plans to alleviate monetary strains and a potential economy bust by sending checks to Americans, also placing a focus on those within the dining and travel industries, VICE News reports.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the checks, “will be payments to small businesses, we’ve talked about loan guarantees to critical industries such as airlines and hotels, and we’ve also talked about a stimulus package to the American worker.” The administration wants to start mailing the payments “immediately,” but the amount has yet to be made public. “Americans need cash now, the president wants to get cash now, I mean now, in the next few weeks.”
The stock market will also remain open despite encountering instances of a downward spiral. Additionally, as Tax Day has been pushed from April 15 to July 15, Americans can defer up to $1 million in tax payments for the next 90 days. VICE News states it’ll be “interest-free and penalty-free.”
Per The New York Times, Trump believes these plans will keep the economy stable. “By making sacrifices and temporary changes, we can protect the health of our people and our economy,” he said. “I think our economy will come back rapidly. If we do this right, our country and the world frankly, but our country can be rolling again pretty quickly.”
As of Tuesday, upwards of 4,600 people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19. To stop the spread, various states including New York, which has been the hardest hit, ordered restaurants and bars to close their doors to patrons and rely on take-out or food-to-go services. Closing down has led to layoffs and it’s still too early and unclear on when businesses like these will be able to return to normalcy.