Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHouse votes unanimously to extend deadline for coronavirus small-business loan program Coronavirus Report: The Hill’s Steve Clemons interviews Mark Penn The Hill’s Morning Report – Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE said Thursday the White House has no regrets about pushing states to end their lockdown measures, despite spikes in coronavirus cases in several of the first states to reopen.
Asked at a Thursday press appearance whether the White House had any regrets about encouraging speedy reopenings, Mnuchin replied, “No, absolutely not. I think we’ve had a very careful plan working with the states — this is primarily the states’ responsibility — but working with the states.”
Mnuchin expressed confidence that “there’s plenty of places we can get people back to work safely,” noting that numerous staffers are returning to work within his Treasury Department.
“There is a safe way to reopen the economy, and we’re going to do it carefully,” he said.
White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, meanwhile, continued to predict a “V-shaped recovery” following June’s surprisingly strong jobs report and said health officials were in the process of developing “recovery best practices” with states experiencing new spikes, such as Texas, Arizona and California.
“If you have to phase out bars, so be it, for a few weeks,” he said. “I think some places might have been overexuberant and now have to come back, and get back to these best practices of distances and masks and testing and personal hygiene.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. set a record for new daily coronavirus cases, surpassing 50,000 for the first time. States including Texas and Florida have reimposed previously lifted restrictions on businesses in the wake of surging cases.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said over the weekend that he regretted allowing the state to proceed with reopening bars.
“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting,” Abbott said in an interview with KVIA in El Paso.
The economy added 5.8 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent