Trump’s Failed Response Stalls The Economic Recovery

23 Jul

The Trump administration continues to say the economy is in good shape and will quickly recover, but the data paints a much bleaker picture. More Americans are losing their jobs and more businesses are closing for good. The economic recovery Trump touted was short-lived because of his failed pandemic response.

Yesterday, Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow said the economy is “much, much, much better” and all signs point to a rapid recovery.

KUDLOW: “The answer is much, much, much better.”

KUDLOW: “I don’t see any evidence of economic harm” from rising cases.

Unemployment claims rose to 1.4 million last week. Overall, Americans have filed 52.7 million unemployment claims over the past four months.

Politico: “Unemployment claims rose to 1.4 million last week, the Labor Department reported, ending 15 weeks of consecutive declines in new applications. The increase in the number of workers seeking new aid follows several states delaying their reopening plans and closing some businesses down again as coronavirus cases spike.”

USA Today: “That most recent stream of claims means that in little more than four months, a staggering 52.7 million have sought unemployment aid for the first time.”

New data suggests all of the job gains since mid-May have been wiped out after Trump’s failed response led to a resurgence in new cases.

New York Times: “Data from the Census Bureau on Wednesday showed that the number of employed people fell by more than four million last week, the fourth-straight weekly decline. Taken literally, the results indicate that the economy has given up all the job gains since mid-May, before the recent surge in coronavirus cases.”

Many business closures have now become permanent and millions of jobs are not coming back at all.

Washington Post: “The economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic has entered a new phase, with permanent business closures now outnumbering temporary ones, new data shows.”

New York Times’s Peter Baker: “More than 15,000 restaurants in America have closed permanently during the pandemic and as many as 10% of independent operators could shut by year’s end.”

CNN: “The ugly truth about millions of American jobs: They are not coming back”

Manufacturing flatlined last year and fell sharply with the pandemic. As of June, there were nearly 300,000 factory jobs lost under Trump’s watch.

New York Times: “After increasing in the first two years of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the number of manufacturing jobs flatlined last year and fell sharply with the pandemic. As of June, there were nearly 300,000 fewer factory jobs in the United States than there were when Mr. Trump was inaugurated.”

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Trump’s Chaos Threatens Unemployed Americans

23 Jul

Tens of millions of working Americans are days away from losing most of their income because Trump refused for months to consider extending enhanced unemployment relief. Now that those benefits are about to expire, Trump and Republicans can’t get their act together to provide badly needed relief.

Tens of millions of unemployed Americans are about to lose a majority of their income, but Trump and Republicans have struggled to get their act together.

New York Times: “More than 20 million Americans could soon see their weekly income fall by half or more at a time when the unemployment rate remains higher than in any period since World War II.”

Washington Post: “White House, GOP in disarray over coronavirus spending plan as deadline nears on expiring emergency aid”

Politico’s Jake Sherman: “DELAYED … So, in sum, @senatemajldr’s announcement of the GOP covid package is pushed, as the administration and Senate Rs continue to haggle over details.”

House Democrats passed additional coronavirus relief and extended unemployment benefits more than two months ago, but Trump’s White House refused to even begin negotiations.

Nexstar: “House Democrats are pushing the Senate to take up the Heroes Act after it was passed two months ago.”

Washington Post: “After delaying discussions for weeks, the White House is now trying to rush talks in part because more than 20 million Americans are slated to receive their final expanded unemployment check at the end of this week before the program expires.”

Because of Trump’s delay, the White House is close to breaking its promise to not let enhanced unemployment benefits expire this week.

KUDLOW: “‘We’re not going to let unemployment expire — no way.”

Politico’s Jake Sherman: “I just asked @senatemajldr if he anticipates a coronavirus bill will pass by the end of next week — which is what @stevenmnuchin1 and @MarkMeadows are running around the Hill saying. MCCONNELL let out a big laugh and said: ‘No.’”

Republicans’ failure to extend enhanced unemployment will create unnecessary hardship for millions of families and could be devastating for the economy.

New York Times: “End of $600 Unemployment Bonus Could Push Millions Past the Brink”

New York Times: “Ernie Tedeschi, a former Treasury Department official and an economist at Evercore ISI Research, has estimated that if the payments ceased, the U.S. gross domestic product would be 2 percent smaller at the end of 2020 and there would be 1.7 million fewer jobs nationwide.”

As the pandemic surges, unemployed workers across the country fear what will happen if they lose their benefits because of Trump’s failure to lead.

Unemployed Georgia Worker: “At this point, I have no idea what I’m going to do” about the looming expiration of enhanced benefits.

Unemployed Florida Worker: The extra benefits “are literally vital to survival. It’s tough to even think about what happens once July ends.”

Unemployed Florida Mother: “Everything is out of my control. You can’t just pull the rug because it’s not over.”

Unemployed Indiana Worker: “‘If Congress does not continue these benefits, my partner and I are looking at making around $193 a week each with Indiana’s unemployment allowances. With two kids and rent and groceries, that is not enough for us to survive.”

Unemployed Oklahoma Father: “‘If the $600 gets yanked, I’ll have to start deciding, OK, which obligations can I afford to not meet: paying rent, student loans, car payments, putting food on the table? It would be a disaster.”

Unemployed Kentucky Mother: How is Congress, “going to take the money away when there’s all of these people like me who haven’t even received it yet?”

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WATCH: Pence Dodges Question About Coronavirus Response

22 Jul

Mike Pence was asked what Trump’s administration should have done differently in its response to the coronavirus … not once, not twice, but five times. The answers are endless: from implementing a real national testing strategy to fully invoking the Defense Production Act to encouraging mask wearing earlier to not downplaying the virus.

Instead, when asked repeatedly by a reporter in South Carolina, Pence chose to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. The hard truth is that well over four months into this crisis and with more than 140,000 Americans dead, the Trump administration has learned nothing and is completely unable to make the tough decisions necessary to protect the American people.

WATCH:

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Trump’s ‘New Tone’ Never Lasts Long

22 Jul

Trump is back to holding coronavirus press briefings, and was once again praised for striking a “new tone” — but it didn’t last long. The same thing happened when Trump first started holding these briefings, and yet we apparently haven’t learned our lesson.

Yesterday, Trump was given credit for striking a “new tone” as he returned to holding press briefings — it didn’t last long.

ABC News: “The president is displaying a new tone and a new level of engagement, after aides and allies have pleaded with him to recognize the gravity of the moment.”

CNN: “But Trump’s new tone, like previous Trump new tones, did not last long.”

On March 16, Trump held his first coronavirus press conference where he was heralded for striking a “new tone.” 

Washington Examiner: “Trump finds new tone as he delivers unvarnished coronavirus message”

Vox: “Trump finally had a competent press conference on the coronavirus”

The very next week, Trump began his push to reopen the country before ensuring it can be done safely, and was back to downplaying the coronavirus and attacking governors for requesting more ventilators.

TRUMP: “America will again, and soon, be open for business — very soon — a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. … We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

TRUMP: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes they’ll have two ventilators, and now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”

And it’s not the first time this has happened. Trump has laughed at how easy it was for him to game the press with a “new tone.”

The Daily Beast: “Trump Literally Laughed at How He Can Game the Press With His ‘New Tone’”

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NEW POLL: Very Few Americans Support Trump Forcing Schools To Unsafely Reopen

22 Jul

“The coronavirus is surging now more than ever after Trump recklessly rushed to reopen the country. Now he’s at it again – forcing schools to reopen without ensuring it can be done safely and rolling back CDC guidelines. Americans disapprove of Trump’s failed response and they don’t trust him to protect the safety of their children and their families. Trump may not want to listen now, but he’ll hear from them in November.” – DNC War Room senior spokesperson and adviser Lily Adams

Very few Americans support Trump’s push to reopen schools without ensuring it can be done safely.

Associated Press: “The poll finds only 8% of Americans say K-12 schools should open for normal in-person instruction. Just 14% think they can reopen with minor adjustments, while 46% think major adjustments are needed. Another 31% think instruction should not be in person this fall. It’s little different among the parents of school-age children.”

It’s no wonder an overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of education issues.

Associated Press: “Americans show little confidence in Trump’s handling of education issues. Only 36% say they approve of Trump’s performance, while 63% disapprove.”

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Job Recovery Wiped Out Because Of Trump’s Failed Response

22 Jul

Yesterday, Trump justified slashing unemployment benefits by claiming he was creating jobs, but new data from the Census Bureau indicates that all of the job gains since mid-May have been wiped out after Trump’s failed response led to a resurgence in new cases.

Yesterday, Trump justified slashing unemployment benefits by claiming he had created a “tremendous number of jobs.”

TRUMP: “They’re thinking about doing 70 percent of the amount. The amount would be the same, but doing it in a little bit smaller initial amounts so that people are going to want to go back to work, as opposed to making so much money that they really don’t have to. But we were very generous with them. I think that it’s been a tremendously successful program. The whole thing has been successful, if you look. I mean, we have — we’re in a pandemic, and yet we’re producing tremendous number of jobs.”

Today, new Census Bureau data shows the number of employed people fell by four million last week, wiping out all the job gains since mid-May.

New York Times: “Data from the Census Bureau on Wednesday showed that the number of employed people fell by more than four million last week, the fourth-straight weekly decline. Taken literally, the results indicate that the economy has given up all the job gains since mid-May, before the recent surge in coronavirus cases.”

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WATCH: Kellyanne Conway Can’t Spin Trump’s Record on Masks

22 Jul

Kellyanne Conway tried to spin Trump’s flip-flop on masks. Ignoring months of Trump refusing to wear a mask and downplaying their effectiveness, Conway claimed “we have additional studies” that now prove masks prevent the spread of COVID.

Despite Conway’s spin, the CDC recommended more than three months ago that Americans wear masks in public and studies have shown for months that masks can dramatically slow the spread.

Even Fox News wasn’t buying it. If Trump had acted sooner, we’d have fewer cases and deaths.

WATCH:

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Trump Wants Americans To Judge Him On His Failed Record

22 Jul

In his briefing yesterday, Trump was asked if he wants the American people to judge him on his failed coronavirus response that has led to more than 140,ooo deaths and the worst recession since the Great Depression. Instead, Trump pointed to parts of his record he wants the American people to judge him on, but they don’t look good either.

TRUMP: “They’ll judge us on the economy that I created and that already we’re creating. We’re setting record job numbers, as you know.”

REALITY: Millions of jobs were lost under Trump’s watch and job growth actually slowed even before the pandemic hit.

FactCheck.org: “Since he took office: 7.8 million jobs have been lost — including 7,100 coal mining jobs and 274,000 manufacturing jobs.”

FactCheck.org: “Even in February, when employment was at its highest, Trump was far behind the pace needed to fulfill his campaign boast that he would be ‘the greatest jobs president that God ever created.’ Up until then, the average monthly gain under Trump had been 185,000, while the average monthly gain during the four years before he took office was 216,000.”

AP Fact Check: “Trump never managed to achieve the rates of economic growth he promised in the 2016 campaign. The U.S. economy was not the world’s best in history when this started.”

TRUMP: “I think they’re going to judge me on the tax cutting and the regulation cutting, which nobody has ever done to the extent that we’ve been able to do it.”

REALITY: Trump’s tax law failed to boost investments or increase economic growth as Trump and Republicans promised.

NPR: “After 2 Years, Trump Tax Cuts Have Failed To Deliver On GOP’s Promises”

NPR: “The federal deficit this year was $984 billion — an extraordinary figure at a time when the country is not mired in recession or widespread war. The tax cut also failed to produce a permanent boost in economic growth, despite promises from Republican supporters.”

Industry Week: “Besides stock buybacks, American corporations continue to sell, hire, and invest more in their overseas operations than they do in the U.S. facilities.”

REALITY: More than half of Americans would pay more in taxes while the top 1% got more than 80% of the benefits over the next decade.

Vox: “By 2027, more than half of all Americans — 53 percent — would pay more in taxes under the tax bill agreed to by House and Senate Republicans, a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center finds. That year, 82.8 percent of the bill’s benefit would go to the top 1 percent, up from 62.1 under the Senate bill.’ And even in the first years of the bill’s implementation, when it’s an across-the-board tax cut, the benefits of the law would be heavily concentrated among the upper-middle and upper-class Americans, with nearly two-thirds of the benefit going to the richest fifth of Americans in 2018.”

REALITY: While corporations got massive tax cuts and some paid no federal taxes, the benefits did not trickle down to workers as promised.

CNBC: “These 91 companies paid no federal taxes in 2018”

Wall Street Journal: “Still, one widely publicized feature of the 2017 tax law hasn’t held up: The bonuses many companies announced for employees—often described as sharing the benefits of the corporate tax cut with workers —haven’t been repeated, even as company tax savings persist.”

TRUMP: “On rebuilding the military, on how we’ve handled the VA: On the VA, we got Veterans Choice. Nobody thought that would be possible.”

REALITY: Trump is trying to take credit for the Veterans Choice program that was first passed under President Obama.

Associated Press: “Trump said he passed a private-sector health care program, Veterans Choice, after failed attempts by past presidents for the last ‘45 years.’ That’s not true. The Choice program, which allows veterans to see doctors outside the government-run VA system at taxpayer expense, was first passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama.”

REALITY: Trump threatened to block crucial military funding and pay raises for service members so he can protect the legacy of Confederate generals.

Reuters: “Earlier Tuesday, the White House issued an official announcement that Trump would veto the bill if it required the Defense Department to strip the names of Confederate generals from U.S. military bases.”

TRUMP: “I don’t think any administration, any President has accomplished so much as we’ve accomplished, from energy to health to so many other things.”

REALITY: Trump’s health care policies and failed coronavirus response have led to millions more uninsured Americans—and he’s trying to strip coverage from tens of millions more by eliminating the ACA.

Vox: “The number of Americans without health insurance has increased by 7 million since President Donald Trump took office, new Gallup data released Wednesday shows. The country’s uninsured rate has steadily ticked upward since 2016, rising from a low of 10.9 percent in late 2016 to 13.7 percent — a four-year high.”

New York Times: “The coronavirus pandemic stripped an estimated 5.4 million American workers of their health insurance between February and May, a stretch in which more adults became uninsured because of job losses than have ever lost coverage in a single year, according to a new analysis.”

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As Deaths Increase To More Than 1,000 In A Day, Trump Falsely Says Fatalities Are Falling

22 Jul

In order to defend his failed coronavirus response, Trump has repeatedly pointed to the mortality rate and claimed that deaths are falling. But the U.S. has one of the highest mortality rates in the world and deaths are climbing again, with more than 1,000 deaths reported yesterday in the biggest single-day increase in nearly two months.

Trump touted coronavirus fatalities falling as more than 1,000 new deaths were reported in a single day — bringing us back to where we were two months ago.

TRUMP: “Fatalities nationwide have fallen.”

New York Times: “At least 1,120 coronavirus deaths were reported across the United States on Tuesday, the first time in July the single-day total had exceeded 1,000. With the exception of two days in late June when New Jersey and New York reported large numbers of deaths from unknown dates, Tuesday’s total was the highest since May 29, according to a New York Times database.”

Trump bragged about the U.S. having one of the lowest mortality rates in the world when we actually have one of the highest.

TRUMP: “I heard we have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest, mortality rate anywhere in the world.”

CNN: “The US in fact has one of the highest death rates from the coronavirus of any country, and is worse than several badly-hit countries like Brazil, Mexico and Russia, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.”

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DNC on Trump’s Coronavirus Briefing

22 Jul

In response to Trump’s coronavirus briefing tonight, DNC War Room senior spokesperson and adviser Lily Adams released the following statement:

“In prepared remarks, Trump said this crisis would get worse before it gets better, but as soon as he was off script, Trump once again downplayed the virus and said it would simply ‘disappear.’ Trump misled Americans on the mortality rate. He refused to commit to more money for testing and tracing and then bragged about how he prefers the rapid test that he has been able to get almost daily while countless Americans can’t access tests or have to wait more than a week for their results. Trump even said he was ‘in the process of developing a strategy’ when we are more than four months and over 140,000 deaths into this crisis and the damage is already done.

“The White House thinks these briefings will be good for Trump’s ratings, but the more people hear from Trump, the more they see what a failure he is. Trump might be able to read semi-coherently from prepared remarks for 15 minutes, but that doesn’t mean he’s turned over a new leaf on his response.”

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