In Coronavirus Response, Trump Puts Corporations Over People

Yesterday, the Trump administration outlined some elements of a coronavirus response package, which are aimed at protecting big corporations and boosting his reelection rather than ensuring the health and economic security of Americans. He also continued to claim it will all just “go away.” And we had thought his botched response to coronavirus couldn’t get any worse…

Trump falsely promised to make a public address yesterday. He never did, but today, he’s hosting big banks at the White House for a private briefing. 

Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump didn’t appear at a White House briefing on the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday, after promising a day earlier he’d hold a news conference to announce a ‘major’ economic stimulus package.”

New York Times: “As the markets rage and more businesses reel from the impact of the spreading coronavirus, President Trump plans to meet with officials from the nation’s banks at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.”

Trump’s coronavirus response has prioritized corporations and the wealthy — like his billionaire oil magnate donor — over everybody else. 

Washington Post: “The White House is strongly considering pushing federal assistance for oil and natural gas producers hit by plummeting oil prices amid the coronavirus outbreak… One of the companies hardest hit was Continental Resources, founded by Harold Hamm, a Trump supporter and an adviser to the president on energy issues.”

Trump continued to downplay the coronavirus and its impact on Americans’ livelihoods, saying, “it will go away… it’s really working out.”

Trump: “It will go away. Just stay calm… Be calm. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen.”

Trump wants to take advantage of the health crisis to boost his reelection chances, rather than targeting relief to those affected by the outbreak.

Bloomberg: “Donald Trump… wants a payroll tax holiday through the November election so that taxes won’t go back up before voters decide whether to return him to office.”

Washington Post: “A payroll tax cut would do little, for example, for people who have lost their jobs because of the economic fallout of the outbreak. And it would deliver benefits for people who are in fields or parts of the country that have not been affected by the virus at all.”