Mnuchin Embarrasses Himself During ‘CBS Sunday’ Coronavirus Fail

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Amidst the economic upheaval wrought by attempts to stem the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, which has already killed more than 2,200 Americans among more than 32,000 deaths around the world, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been attempting to insist that the U.S. economy will end up just fine. He delivered more of those rosy long-term (not short-term) outlooks during an appearance this Sunday morning on CBS’s Face The Nation, but in the here and now, millions of Americans are struggling — yet it’s unclear quite how fazed Mnuchin really was about that issue.

New unemployment claims hit a record high recently, with some 3.3 million new filings in a single week. The process to bring those jobs back is not going to be like flipping a switch, host Margaret Brennan noted, asking:

‘Do you need to level with the American people here and tell them you simply don’t know all these jobs are going to come back?’

As Brennan also noted, the president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank suggested that U.S. unemployment could hit the astronomical level of 30 percent in the second quarter of this year. Mnuchin insisted in response, in reference to the latest Coronavirus financial relief effort:

‘I think this program is going to be enormously successful in stabilizing the U.S. economy while hardworking Americans who lost their jobs or aren’t able to work because of the medical situation get help. So this money is going to go into the economy very quickly. It is going to help American workers very very quickly. And I don’t know how long it’s going to take to kill this virus. I know that we will kill this virus, and when we do, I have great confidence that the U.S. economy will be coming roaring back.’

Watch below:

Americans don’t need Mnuchin’s confidence in “the economy.” They need financial assistance in the here-and-now — and, although it’s outside of Mnuchin’s seemingly most direct purview, they need medical support so the virus situation can stabilize and businesses can have a chance to re-open at all. Medical supply shortages have continued across the country throughout the outbreak, and Trump personally has offered just middling support.

During his time on CBS this weekend, Mnuchin also addressed some specifics of the financial relief efforts that have already been adopted. He said that individual Americans eligible for direct checks could expect to get their money within three weeks, and he insisted that the currently in-place relief measures could cover the U.S. financially speaking for about ten weeks. There’s no guarantee — far from it, in fact — that the Coronavirus crisis in the U.S. will abate by then, but Mnuchin also explained that he is “prepared to go back to Congress and get more support for the American economy,” although he said that he “hopes that’s not needed.”

Trump has recently been insisting upon re-opening the economy in the near future, but doing that without protections in place that have yet to materialize in some areas could simply spread the virus and tank the economy even further.

That’s left local authorities and public health officials to pick up the slack left by the struggling president.