President Trump claims his political opponents do not want an economy crippled by the coronavirus to ever recover.
During a meeting at the White House, Trump reportedly told a group of Republicans that he believed Democrats were trying to capitalize on the battered economy.
“The people want to come back. You see what’s going on at statehouses all over the country. They want to come back,” Trump said during the meeting, via Politico.
“I think some people don’t want it really to come back, for political reasons, which is sick,” the president added. “But the people — the real people, the people that want this country to be great, and great again — we can say they want to get back.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump made a similar claim earlier on Friday during an interview with “Fox & Friends.”
“I will tell you, you look at some cases, some people think they’re doing it for politics. Here we go again. But they think they’re doing it because it’ll hurt me, the longer it takes to — hurt me in the election, the longer it takes to open up,” he said.
“And I can see some of that, because some of these — some of these people are being unrealistic,” Trump continued. “They’re being ridiculous. I’ve looked at a couple of states that are being absolutely ridiculous. But ultimately, the people are forcing it. I see what’s going on.”
The president’s comments come on the heels of a new April jobs report that shows the economy lost 20.5 million jobs, the most over a 1-month period in U.S. history.
Business Insider reports:
The report showed how quickly the coronavirus pandemic hit the labor market — just two months earlier, in February, the unemployment rate was 3.5%, a 50-year low.
In one month, the US economy has lost more jobs than the 8.7 million erased during the Great Recession. The unemployment rate has also seemingly overnight jumped over the Great Recession peak of 10% in October 2009.
What’s perhaps most devastating about the April report is the extent to which it underestimates the current economic pain. The unemployment rate doesn’t take into account, for example, workers who have had their hours cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.