Trump hints possibility of less-restrictive approach in coronavirus fight

President Trump tweeted Sunday that his administration will reassess its response to the coronavirus outbreak at the end of the 15-day period that calls on Americans to limit their normal behaviors in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Businesses across the U.S. have been turned on their heads as federal, state and local governments called for drastic measures to block more infections. Stocks on Wall Street plunged to their worst losses in more than three decades.

“We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” the president tweeted in caps lock, before announcing the reassessment.

Trump last week moved to blunt the impact of the pandemic on a U.S. economy fundamentally altered by a push for the nation to stay home. Hotels, restaurants, airlines, and retailers have suffered major losses. The emergency stimulus bill also hit a snag in the Senate hours before Trump’s tweet.

The GOP-controlled Senate failed to move forward with the $1.4 trillion “Phase Three” stimulus package intended to help businesses and families devastated by the downturn over the coronavirus outbreak.

Many Democrats had complained that the draft aid package did not go far enough to provide health care and unemployment aid for Americans, and failed to put restraints on a proposed $500 billion “slush fund” for corporations, saying the ban on corporate stock buy-backs are weak and the limits on executive pay would last only two years.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, exiting the Capitol just before midnight, struck an optimistic note: “We’re very close,” he said, adding negotiators would work through the night.

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Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., after meeting multiple times with Mnuchin, said progress was being made.

“There’s a good chance we’ll have an agreement,” Schumer said as the Senate gaveled close, shortly before midnight. “We are fighting for a better bill.”

Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of hedge fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates, sounded the alarm Thursday over the coronavirus crisis and said U.S. corporations will lose up to $4 trillion and Trump needs to dramatically increase his stimulus plan.

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Dalio’s comments come a day after Bill Ackman, another billionaire investor, called on the president to shut down the country for 30 days or “America will end as we know it.”

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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