Americans are living like hermits, hunkering down with liquor, guns and toilet paper as coronavirus fears grip the country.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s announcement Tuesday that the Trump administration wants to send checks to Americans “in the next two weeks” seemed to lighten the mood of sequestered workers. The initiative is aimed at helping people cope with the economic fallout as businesses and schools shut down.
“Americans need cash now, the president wants to get cash now. I mean now—in the next few weeks,” Mnuchin said during a White House press briefing.
One New York resident awaiting her ‘Trump check’ said, “I’ve got an internet bill that needs to be paid. I can’t be quarantined with no internet. I’ll have to start drinking again.”
President Donald Trump reiterated Wednesday morning that “money will soon be coming” to assist those who are unable to work due to the coronavirus crisis.
“For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you,” he promised. “The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!” he added.
“I will totally protect your Medicare & Social Security!” he promised in a follow-up tweet.
Fox News contributor Brit Hume told anchor Martha MacCallum Tuesday, if the administration is “able to blunt the force of this, and we are able to helicopter, drop money out of helicopters as the old saying goes — to get money to people — in an economic downturn, and people are able to weather this, and it comes to be felt by the country that this administration, after maybe some halting steps at the beginning, did a good job of mobilizing the country and mobilizing the government and seeing us through this, then that could be quite good news for the president.”
Surgeon General Jerome Adams pleaded with Americans on NBC’s Today show Wednesday to ‘pitch in’ and self-isolate to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“If we can get America to pitch in for the next 15 days, we can flatten the curve,” said Adams.
He also warned that it could take longer than 15 days to slow the spread, suggesting that experts are still unsure how long this ‘invisible enemy’ might linger.
“Fifteen days is likely not going to be enough to get us all the way through, but we need to lean into it now to bend the curve over the next 15 days and at that point we will reassess,” Adams said.
“We want them to avoid gatherings of 10 or more, unnecessary travel — work from home if at all possible.”
‘When we look at the data, our numbers are where Italy’s were two to three weeks ago,” he warned ominously.
“Do we want to go the way of Italy or do we want to go the way of South Korea and China who were actually able to level off the peak and decrease the numbers?” he asked. Both countries adopted Draconian self-containment measures, demanding that people stay home.
Adams expressed confidence that the nation was ‘turning a corner’ and most people were heeding warnings to take the virus seriously and stay indoors.