Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the Trump administration wants to get emergency funds in Americans’ pockets “immediately” amid the coronavirus crisis.
“Americans need cash now,” Mnuchin said during a White House press briefing on the administration’s latest efforts to combat the disease. “I mean now in the next two weeks.”
“The president has instructed me that we have to do this now,” Mnuchin added.
The latest daily briefing came as stocks struggled to recover from one of the worst trading sessions ever a day earlier.
Markets have shed trillions of dollars amid the coronavirus spread, which has crippled major industries and forced governments around the world to take drastic steps to try to slow transmission of the disease. States and cities have taken sweeping measures to reduce social interaction, including limiting restaurants to delivery and takeout services. Other businesses have had to lay off and furlough employees.
Mnuchin said that an idea of the administration’s plan will come into focus by “the end of the day” Tuesday.
He added that the U.S. is unlikely to send checks to millionaires.
“I think it’s clear, We don’t need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks,” Mnuchin said. “I think we’re going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible. That may not be an accurate way of doing it. Some people obviously shouldn’t be getting a check for $1,000 but we’ll have an idea at the end of the day of what we will be doing.”