Trump Announces Economic Relief for 'Hourly Wage Earners' Amid Coronavirus Outbreak: 'So They Won't Miss a Paycheck'

In a surprise appearance, President Donald Trump announced a series of proposed economic relief packages to assist those who have been financially hurt by the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.

"We are going to take care of and have been taking care of the American public and the American economy," Trump said. "We are going to be asking tomorrow. We're seeing the Senate, going to be meeting with House Republicans, Mitch McConnell, and discussing a possible payroll tax cut, a relief, a very substantial relief. It's a big number."

"We're also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so they can be in a position where they're not ever going to miss a paycheck," Trump continued. "We're going to be working with companies, small companies, large companies, so that they don't get penalized for something that's not their fault. It's not our country's fault. This is something that we were thrown into."

"There are concerns among hourly wage earners feeling like they had to go to work even if they were ill," Vice President Mike Pence said. "The president has tasked this economic team, working together already with leaders in Congress, to make sure that anyone that feels they are at risk of losing their job or losing a paycheck because they may contract the coronavirus. When we tell people 'if you're sick, stay home,' the president has tasked the team with developing economic policies that will make it very, very clear that we're going to stand by this hard-working Americans, stand by those businesses large or small to make it possible for us to put the health of America first."

Trump told reporters he will hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to explain these new "major" economic coronavirus policies. I'll "explain what we're doing from an economic standpoint," he said. "They will be very dramatic."

The White House declined to provide a comment for Newsweek for this story.

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President Donald Trump announced proposed economic relief packages during a coronavirus press briefing Monday. Drew Angerer/Getty

Eight U.S. states have declared a state of emergency due to the spread of coronavirus including New York, California and Florida.

"We are continuing to test people and are working with hospitals and local governments to give them the resources they need to contain the spread of this virus," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday as he announced the state of emergency during a news briefing.

"We mobilized quickly but the federal government has been slow off the mark and they continue to be slow," Cuomo continued. "That's unacceptable—we need them to approve these private labs today so we can stay ahead of this evolving situation. Worse than the virus right now is the fear pandemic—and getting these additional facilities online will ensure we have more facts that will help keep people calm."

Speculation arose that Trump may have been exposed to the coronavirus after a Monday trip on Air Force One which included Florida Representative Matt Gaetz as a passenger. Gaetz announced Monday he was placing himself into self-quarantine after coming into contact with an infected individual at February's Conservative Political Action Conference.

Four other U.S. lawmakers also placed themselves into quarantine, including Texas Representative Ted Cruz. In a Sunday statement, Cruz said he was taking the action "out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as a part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind."

Other politicians who chose to isolate themselves due to possible exposure to coronavirus are Georgia Representative Doug Collins, Arizona Representative Dr. Paul Gosar, and Democrat Congresswoman Julia Brownley of California.

Recent statistics indicate 624 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. with 22 deaths attributable to the virus. While eight cases are still listed as critical, 15 individuals are classified as totally recovered.

On a global scale, 114,223 positive cases have been reported with a total of 4,005 deaths. The number of individuals who have recovered from coronavirus is 62,834.

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A graphic provided by Statista shows the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease by country as of March 9, as reported by Johns Hopkins University. The disease has infected 113,584 people and killed about 4,000 in more than 100 countries around the world. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.