CNN and other outlets are reporting that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Republican senators Tuesday that unemployment could hit 20% if they fail to act now with an aid package.
CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted, “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators Tuesday morning that the coronavirus pandemic could drive up US unemployment to 20%, a Republican Senate source told CNN’s @JDiamond1. (As first reported by Bloomberg News.)”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators Tuesday morning that the coronavirus pandemic could drive up US unemployment to 20%, a Republican Senate source told CNN’s @JDiamond1. (As first reported by Bloomberg News)
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 17, 2020
Mnuchin reportedly told the Republican senators that unemployment could skyrocket if no steps were taken now to alleviate the growing financial crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic. He was especially encouraging the lawmakers to pass an assistance package sponsored by the Trump administration, a source told CNBC. (RELATED: Trump Declares National Emergency As Coronavirus Outbreak Grows)
Mnuchin wants Congressional approval on a $1 trillion stimulus bill that would provide Americans with emergency cash and assist embattled businesses.
According to CNBC, a Treasury official emphasized that Mnuchin was not necessarily predicting catastrophic unemployment but merely trying to underline the possibilities of what could happen to the U.S. economy if forces are left on their own. (RELATED: US Surgeon General Tells Media To Stop Sniping At Trump Over Coronavirus: ‘No More Bickering … Or Finger Pointing’)
“During the meeting with Senate Republicans today, Secretary Mnuchin used several mathematical examples for illustrative purposes, but he never implied this would be the case,” Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley said in an emailed statement.
Bloomberg News first reported Mnuchin’s alleged comments.
During the depths of the Great Depression, in 1933, unemployment in the United States was 24.9%.