After breaking the record of 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance benefits in the span of a week amid a coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump said the economy would recover “very quickly” after the threat of COVID-19 ended.
The historical number of jobless claims is higher than the record set in early 1982 of 695,000.
“We have to get back to work,” Trump said during a coronavirus briefing on Thursday. “Our country must return. Our country is based on it. And I think it will happen very quickly. Much progress has been made, but we must get back to work.”
While unemployment is high, Trump said the statistics were “fully expected.”
“I heard the number could be 6 million, could be 7 million, but 3.3 [million], 3.2 [million],” Trump said. “That’s a lot of work, but we’re going to come back very strong, you know, the sooner we get back to work.”
“I know the numbers, but I think you will see a very fast turnaround after we win over hidden enemies, as I said, they are hidden enemies,” Trump added. “We will see what happens, but at least that number is fully expected.”
President Donald Trump spoke at a briefing about the coronavirus pandemic in the White House press conference room on Thursday.
Drew Angerer / Getty
Newsweek contacted the Department of Labor for comment, but did not receive a response in time to be published.
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome J. Powell told NBC’s Today program on Thursday that containing the spread of the corona virus was crucial to reopening the country.
“The first order of business is to control the spread of the virus, and then continue economic activity,” Powell said, adding that the virus would “determine the schedule.”
Trump has said that he wants to reopen at least a portion of the U.S. for business on Easter Sunday.
“So we will talk, and maybe we will do our part of the country,” Trump said at a press conference Wednesday. “There is a large part of our country that is very little affected by what is happening, then there are other parts that are very affected.”
CNN International anchor Richard Quest said late Thursday at the coronavirus network town hall that the unemployment rate “could be much worse when [coronavirus] is rolling across the country.”
“Even though this is terrible, you have to remember why it happened,” Quest said, “and it’s because the economy has been artificially suspended. So much of this work will return when the economy starts again. The problem, of course, is that the economy needs to be delayed. while the virus disappears and is eliminated. “
“Social alignment must be maintained,” Quest continues, “and although economic figures may look terrible, bordering on disaster, they will improve and recover more quickly as a result of what is being done.”
Many areas in the U.S. has been placed under a stay-at-home order, closing a business deemed unimportant. Dinner restaurants have been closed on state orders such as many bars, nightclubs, hair salons and fitness centers.