Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said on Monday that he agreed with a Harvard economist who said the federal government should write a check to every American citizen for $1,000 to help them survive the immediate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus.
Romney and other lawmakers cited a Wall Street Journal op-ed written by Jason Furman, a former adviser for President Obama, who warned about the potential economic impact of the virus.
The economist called for a one-time payment of $1,000 for every American adult and $500 for every child to help Americans in need of liquidity.
“Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy,” a Romney press release said. “Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits [the program formally known as food stamps] are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options.”
Todd Starnes, the best-selling author and host of the “Todd Starnes Radio Show,” talked about the economic hardships facing many in New York City after Mayor Bill de Blasio shut down gyms, restaurants and bars.
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“You have just sent thousands and thousands of people—I would say 10,000 people—to the unemployment line. And you think they’re going to be able to survive on $1,000? I don’t think so, Willard,” Starnes said, referring to Romney’s first name.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said all Americans should receive a $1,000 check each month for the remainder of the virus, a BuzzFeed News report said.
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has stoked fears across the globe with its quick spread and uncertain transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that the best way to prevent transmission is to avoid contact with someone infected. The health body also stressed that washing hands with soap is another key step in preventing the virus’ spread.
President Trump on Monday warned that the U.S. economy could be slowing into recession levels. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,997 points, or 12 percent. CNN Business reported that it was the worst point drop in history and at its lowest level in nearly three years.
“I think there’s a tremendous pent up demand both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy,” Trump said, according to the Hill. “Once this goes away, once it goes through and we’re done with it, I think you’re going to see a tremendous surge.”