- The White House is seeking to reopen as much of the US economy as it can by April 30, the deadline for strict social-distancing measures, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
- President Donald Trump had earlier suggested reopening the economy on April 12 but pushed the date back at the urging of public-health officials.
- The president has repeatedly said that the cure can’t “be worse than the problem itself.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Trump administration is seeking to reopen as much of the US economy as possible by April 30, the deadline for strict social-distancing measures President Donald Trump put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Citing four people familiar with the planning, The Post reported that Trump would soon announce the creation of a second coronavirus task force to set a date to reopen the economy.
The task force could include private-sector and top government officials such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, and Kevin Hassett, the former chair of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, The Post reported.
The White House appears to be tilting toward opening the economy soon. In a CNBC interview on Thursday, Mnuchin said much of the economy could be open for business in May.
“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,” Mnuchin said.
Federal officials have shut down a substantial portion of economic activity over the past month in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, throwing the country into what could be a painful recession.
Meanwhile, Trump has been eager to reopen the economy and restore a sense of normality. He has said that the cure can’t “be worse than the problem itself,” and last month he suggested ending the shutdown on April 12. He relented after public-health officials advised him that it was too soon to move that way.
At a press conference on Wednesday night, Trump declined to set a firm date to reopen the economy, CBS News reported.
Last Saturday, Trump reiterated his goal at another press conference. “We have to open our country,” he said. “You know, I had an expression: ‘The cure can’t be worse than the problem itself.’ Right? I started by saying that, and I continue to say it: The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. We’ve got to get our country open.”