TRUMP: VIRUS WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that the “nasty horrible’” coronavirus will get worse in the U.S. before it gets better, but he also tried to paint a rosy picture of efforts to conquer the disease that has claimed more than 140,000 American lives in just five months.
He also professed a newfound respect for the protective face masks he has seldom worn. He pulled one from his pocket in the White House briefing room but didn’t put it on.
After a three-month hiatus from his freewheeling daily virus briefings, Trump returned to the podium, keeping the stage to himself without the public health experts who were staples of his previous events but keeping close to scripted remarks prepared by aides.
Besides declaring support for masks as a way to fight the pandemic, he admonished young people against crowding bars and spreading the disease.
There were no guarantees how long Trump’s more measured tone, delivered with an eye to halting a campaign-season erosion of support, would last. Along the way Tuesday, the president still worked in jabs at the news media and Democrats for focusing on disease-fighting shortcomings in the U.S. as the rest of world also struggles with the virus.
“It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better,” Trump said from the White House. But he also touted a reduction in deaths and progress on vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, which he referred to repeatedly as a the “China virus.” He continued his recent encouragement of Americans to wear masks when social distancing is not possible.
“Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact,” he said. “I’m getting used to the mask,” he added, pulling one out.
Trump’s Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, for his part Tuesday launched into scathing criticism of Trump as he outlined the latest plank of his economic recovery plan, charging that Trump “failed his most important test as an American President: the duty to care for you, for all of us.”
“He’s quit on you, he’s quit on this country,” Biden said.
McConnell promises more cash payments to individuals
The price tag for the next COVID-19 aid package could quickly swell above $1 trillion as White House officials negotiate with Congress over money to reopen schools, prop up small businesses, boost virus testing and keep cash flowing to Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday promised a new round of direct payments to earners below a certain income level, similar to the $1,200 checks sent in the spring.
“Regretfully, this is not over,” McConnell said after a raucous private GOP lunch.
President Donald Trump admonished young people against crowding bars and spreading the coronavirus.