President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that the United States didnt have a choice in spending trillions of dollars in federal funds in response to the CCP virus pandemic, as concerns mount over the growing national debt and damage to the economy.
The president said that while the growing national debt was of concern, the United States has to “fix this problem,” referring to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, which has been attributed to at least 840,000 cases and 46,688 deaths in the United States, according to a tracking map from Johns Hopkins University.
“Do we have a choice? We were attacked,” Trump said during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Wednesday. “This wasnt the flu, by the way, they like to say the flu. Nobody has ever seen anything like this.”
The Paycheck Protection Program is now available! #CARESAct
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2020
The presidents remarks come after the Senate on Tuesday negotiated a $484 billion CCP virus relief package, which includes aid for small businesses, hospitals, and funds for increased CCP virus testing. The nearly half-trillion-dollar package comes shortly after Congress passed a $2 trillion rescue package to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic.
A record 22 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits over the past month, wiping out almost all the job gains since the 2009 recession.
Trump said Wednesday that pouring money into fighting the CCP virus is a move necessary to be able to reopen the economy.
“We had the greatest economy in the history of the world…and we had to close it. Now were going to open it again,” the president said. “Were going to be just as strong or stronger. But you have to spend some money to get it back open.”
According to projections by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB), exploding federal spending prompted by the U.S. governments response to the CCP virus pandemic will force the annual deficit to at least $3.8 trillion this year.
“Our latest projections find that under current law, budget deficits will total more than $3.8 trillion, 18.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), this year and $2.1 trillion (9.7 percent of GDP) in 2021,” the CFRB said in a statement last week.
“We project debt held by the public will exceed the size of the economy by the end of Fiscal Year 2020 and eclipse the prior record set after World War II by 2023,” the group stated.
The national debt is currently $24.3 trillion, according to the U.S. National Debt Clock, and the currently projected value of the economy is $22.3 trillion. The debt figure doesnt include unfunded future benefits the government is liable for under the Social Security ($37.6 trillion) and Medicare ($52.7 trillion) entitlement programs.
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