Day: March 10, 2020

Background Briefing: March 10, 2020


Trump Offers Economic Stimulus While Claiming the Epidemic “Will Go Away”

We begin the state of the economy following yesterday’s record plunge in the stock market prompting today’s White House meeting with Health Insurance executives then later on Capitol Hill Trump met with Republican leaders over lunch to discuss a stimulus plan involving cutting the payroll tax and offering targeted relief to tourism and hospitality industries. Then speaking with reporters after the meeting with wary lawmakers, Trump again downplayed the coronavirus threat saying that the epidemic “will go away”, while talking up his administration’s response claiming “It’s really working out”…And a lot of good things are going to happen”. Heather Long, an economics correspondent with The Washington Post who was previously a senior economics reporter at CNN joins us to discuss her latest article at The Washington Post “The markets are sending a message about coronavirus: The recession risk is real”. With the Dow climbing it way back today, we  discuss the still looming possibility that our economy which is 70% dependent on consumer spending will take further hits as people retreat from shopping malls, travel and entertainment and sporting events. And since around 40% of Americans are having trouble paying their bills and are a $400 emergency payment away from penury, we assess how Trump’s last stimulus which was a giant tax break to the wealthiest of the wealthy that blew up the deficit, compares to the current emergency impacting low-wage workers and middle class homeowners unable to pay their mortgages because they can’t go into work and there is no social safety net to tide them over until the virus goes away.


The Coronavirus Strikes at the Heart of Power in Trump World

Then we look into the irony that the coronavirus has struck at the very heart of power in Trumpworld following the recent CPAC meeting where many top Republicans such as Mark Meadows the latest White House Chief of Staff and ardent Trump supporter and virus-deniers like Matt Gaetz came into contact with someone who was infected. And although the person in charge of the White House response to the coronavirus outbreak, Vice President Pence, could not say whether or not Trump himself was tested for the virus after he shook hands with someone who tested positive, we speak with Jared Holt who attended the CPAC event. A Research Associate at Right Wing Watch, he joins us to discuss how rank incompetence and blind loyalty are making it easier for the non-partisan virus to spread so close to Trump.


Results Coming from Today’s Primary Elections

Then finally we  get an update on the votes coming in from a number of states in today’s primaries with Michigan shaping up as the make-or-break state for Bernie Sanders in terms of him having a path to the Democratic nomination for president. Will Bunch, an award-winning national opinion columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and author of The Bern Identity: A Search for Bernie Sanders and the New American Dream, joins us to discuss the early returns coming in live with a number of the polls having closed in the last 40 minutes.