Trump proposes sending relief checks directly to Americans

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday predicted “we’re going to win” the fight against the coronavirus as he briefed the nation one day after recommending new, stricter nationwide guidelines that prompted much of America to shut down in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.

“If we do this right our country — and the world frankly — but our country but can be rolling again pretty quickly, pretty quickly. We have to fight that invisible enemy that I guess is unknown but we’re getting to know it a lot better, he said.

“At my direction, [Treasury] Secretary Mnuchin is meeting today with senators on additional stimulus packages,” Trump said, adding that they are looking at loans for small businesses and flexibility for fast food workers.

Mnuchin announced that the administration is looking at sending checks directly to American households that are hurting – possibly within the next two weeks.

“We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. What we heard from hardworking Americans, many companies are now shut down whether bars or restaurants, Americans need cash now and the president wants to get them cash now. I mean now in the next two weeks,” Mncuhin said. “We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly,” he said, adding that more details would be revealed later today.

“I think we’ll do something to get money to them as quickly as possible,” President Trump said.

Asked for a timeline for how quickly this could come together, Mnuchin said, “The president has instructed me, we have to do this now. This is now.”

“We’re going big,” Trump said.

Tune into ABC News Live at noon EDT every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with the full ABC News team where we will try to answer your questions about the virus.

Here are Tuesday’s most significant developments in Washington:

 

  • President Trump and the coronavirus task force issue new, stricter guidelines
  • The White House coronavirus task force holds briefing
  • Trump has meetings with restaurant and tourism executives, a phone call with supply retailers
  • Coronavirus economic relief bill has passed the House and heads to the Senate

 

Here is how developments are unfolding. All times Eastern. Please refresh for updates.

New report that makes deadly prediction has impact on White House

Amb. Deborah Birx, the White House’s point person on the coronavirus, appeared to refer to an Imperial College London report in the briefing, which warns that, without action to slow the spread, up to 2.2 million Americans could die from the coronavirus, a connection first reported in the New York Times.

“We had new information coming out from a model, and what had the biggest impact in the model is social distancing, small groups, not going in public in large groups,” Birx said, which may explain the president’s more somber tone at Monday’s briefing.

This, as questions around testing still remain, with ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton, noting, “We need to know the average age, what pre-existing medical conditions, how many are serious and how many are critical. And we have not seen that data yet.”