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Trump comes to grips with public health and economic maelstrom

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Trump comes to grips with public health and economic maelstrom

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday his administration will ask Congress to pass payroll tax relief and other quick measures as a public health and economic maelstrom brought on by the coronavirus drew closer to him personally. Intending to calm the fears of financial markets over the impact of the epidemic, Trump told reporters…

Trump comes to grips with public health and economic maelstrom

President Donald Trump said Monday his administration will ask Congress to pass payroll tax relief and other fast procedures as a public health and financial maelstrom brought on by the coronavirus drew closer to him personally.

Intending to soothe the worries of monetary markets over the impact of the epidemic, Trump informed reporters he is looking for “very significant relief” to the payroll tax. Trump also said he was looking for aid for hourly-wage workers to guarantee they’re “not going to miss out on an income” and “don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault.”

He advance with the shapes of an effort after markets dropped sharply and as the outbreak spread. A number of Trump confidants in Congress disclosed they were separating themselves after possible exposure to the virus; one traveled with the president from Florida on Air Force One on Monday; another was his just-tapped brand-new chief of staff.

Trump said he would hold a press conference Tuesday to detail the propositions, saying his administration and Congress would be “talking about a possible payroll tax cut or relief, significant relief, very substantial relief, that’s big, that’s a huge number. We’re also going to be speaking about per hour wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss out on an income.”

As Trump come to grips with an epidemic whose effects he has consistently soft-pedaled, the White Home asserted it was performing “organisation as typical.” However the day’s business was anything but regular. Legislators pressed for information on how the Capitol might be made secure, handshakes on the Hill were dissuaded and a Pentagon conference was broken into sub-groups to decrease the variety of people in the exact same space.

The president himself dove into handshakes with advocates previously in the day, when arriving to heading a fundraising event in Longwood, Florida, that raised around $4 million for his reelection project and the Republican politician Celebration.

On his flight back to Washington he was accompanied by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who later on went into a voluntary quarantine. He was one of several GOP lawmakers who were exposed to a person at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference who tested positive for the virus. His workplace stated he was “mid-flight” on Air Force One when CPAC notified his staff that he had touched with the attendee who had the infection.

As soon as the plane landed, Gaetz was instantly evaluated.

Vice President Mike Pence, who likewise spoke at CPAC, stated he has not been evaluated for the infection. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump has actually not been checked since he has actually not had “extended close contacts” with any clients and “does not have any symptoms.”

In Monday early morning tweets, Trump vented about the market drop and news that big public events were being called off due to the fact that of the infection.

” At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths,” Trump tweeted, comparing it to seasonal influenza and the thousands of deaths that triggers. “Believe about that!”

Scientists at this stage don’t understand what the death rate of the brand-new coronavirus really is and whether it will end up having to do with the exact same as flu or even worse.

At the very same time, administration officials were insistent that they weren’t trying to dismiss public issues. “This is a very major health issue,” Health and Human Solutions Secretary Alex Azar informed Fox News.

At the Pentagon, officials have started “social distancing” measures.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s regular conference with senior personnel, which typically would be held in person in a single room with 40 to 50 individuals, was broken up into 3 rooms, with video-teleconferencing amongst the spaces, according to the Pentagon’s primary spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman. He said Esper and the 15 to 20 individuals in his room, consisting of Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sat at least six feet apart, in line with health assistance.

Trump was delegating much of the virus action to Pence, who convened a video teleconference to offer an upgrade on the federal government’s infection action Monday afternoon with the nation’s guvs. Trump met his top financial advisers prior to emerging to divulge he’ll look for the payroll tax break.

The White Home has been assembling meetings with an array of travel and health care market representatives, and was set to host Wall Street executives at the White Home on Wednesday to go over the financial fallout of the epidemic.

Futures in the S&P 500 index, which can show how Wall Street will open Tuesday, were up more than 2.5%late Monday after the administration’s news conference.

On Capitol Hill, where many lawmakers are older and have frequent contact with the public, leaders were fielding concerns from members and staff about how the complex will be protected. Leaders have actually so far shown little desire to close the Capitol, however conferences were arranged throughout the day to go over preparations.

On Monday, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Gaetz put themselves in voluntary quarantine due to the fact that of their contacts with someone at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Both stated they did not have any symptoms but would suffer the rest of the 14 days considering that the contact in your home. Gaetz last week wore a gas mask to your home vote on the emergency situation funding costs for the infection action and stated he wished to highlight how Congress might become “petri meal” for the infection.

Collins had actually met Trump last Tuesday night at the White Home and shook hands with him Friday when the president checked out the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention’s Atlanta head office.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., whom Trump called Friday as his incoming chief of personnel, also went into self-quarantine. “A preventive test returned unfavorable & he feels great,” his spokesman tweeted late Monday. Meadows has not yet resigned his congressional seat and has not yet assumed his brand-new function at the White House, however he is a frequent visitor.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., also positioned themselves in quarantine after coming in contact with the exact same person at the conservative conference.

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., stated she satisfied recently with an individual who has actually since been detected with the infection. She closed her workplace and stated she and her personnel are “self-monitoring and maintaining social distancing practices.”

Vast numbers of visitors come to the Hill, particularly at this time of year when advocacy groups organize “fly-in” trips to lobby and talk to lawmakers, and school groups come down for tours.

One Republican who said he was notified he had been exposed at the conservative conference, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, tweeted that he was cleared to go back to Washington. He was spotted leading a Capitol trip for more than 100 visitors late Monday night.

In one manifestation of lawmaking in the age of the coronavirus, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., approached a Republican colleague on the House flooring Monday for a regular congratulatory handshake after the chamber approved a costs broadening a visa program. “Shake or bump?” Neal asked Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.

The two guys bumped elbows.

Workplaces on Capitol Hill likewise marketed they were holding “no contact conferences” and asked guests to refrain from shaking hands.

The chairman of the Democratic caucus, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, stated your house’s primary administrative officer and the sergeant at arms are anticipated to brief Democrats at their regular caucus meeting Tuesday. The conversation was expected to address whether the Capitol will be limited to visitors, he stated.

It was not right away clear how Trump was intending to offer assistance to staff members weighing whether to remain home since of illness– an important aim of public health authorities looking for to curtail the spread of the infection.

One mechanism, backed by the Trump-allied National Association of Manufacturers, involves a proposed tax credit for companies who pay staff members who are quarantined.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, the director of the nationwide economic council, were anticipated to bring the White Home proposal to Senate Republicans on Tuesday afternoon, at which point officials prepared to launch more openly.

Legislators on Capitol Hill had barely started to contemplate the financial implications of the spread of the infection and what might be needed to stimulate the economy as people cancel holidays and business trips and stay away from stores. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley told reporters that “everything’s on the table.”

But members of the Senate Republican management, including Texas Sen. John Cornyn played down the need for a financial stimulus bundle of any kind, be it tax cuts or help for employees. “It’s premature to be speaking about that,” Cornyn informed reporters. “I normally enjoy tax cuts but I believe it’s a little premature.”

Democrats panned– in the meantime– Trump’s proposed payroll tax cut. They said it was not particular enough to the core problem and are preparing their own plan of aid, including affordable testing, welfare and paid leave for working families affected by the virus.

” Unfortunately at the president’s interview today, he actually did not attend to the coronavirus issue,” stated Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, standing together with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer after a late conference at the Capitol. “This has to do with the kitchen area table of America’s working households.”

A Home vote could come as quickly as this week, Pelosi said, but most likely would move to April.

While they did not totally oppose Trump’s proposed payroll tax cut, they said they choose their technique as a better method to impart self-confidence in households and the economy.

” Unless you deal with the pandemic the stock exchange’s going to keep becoming worse and even worse and even worse,” Schumer said. “If there’s going to be relief it ought to be targeted at the families that are most impacted.”

A day after stating it was “continuing as normal,” Trump’s campaign canceled a three-day Women for Trump bus tour across Michigan that included Mercedes Schlapp, the previous White House assistant who is married to the American Conservative Union chairman, Matt Schlapp.

Schlapp is under self-quarantine after he, too, was exposed to the contaminated person at CPAC. He introduced Trump and welcomed him with a handshake on phase before the president’s spoke on Feb. 29.


Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard, Andy Taylor, Kevin Freking, Jill Colvin, Bob Burns, Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.


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The Associated Press gets assistance for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is exclusively responsible for all material.

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