White House Trade Advisor Tries to Calm Nerves About Those Drastic Unemployment Numbers

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Posted: Mar 26, 2020 12:00 PM
White House Trade Advisor Tries to Calm Nerves About Those Drastic Unemployment Numbers

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro did his part to assuage fears amid a new U.S. Department of Labor report that 3.3 million people have now filed jobless claims in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

"This is to be totally expected," Navarro calmly responded on Fox News's "America's Newsroom."

The White House's strategy, he explained, was to enforce social distancing, prioritizing public health above economic health in the short-term. 

"So, this is no surprise," he added. "This is expected and we should accept the news, because we're doing what we need to do to combat the virus."

The White House, he noted, has been "waiting for Congress to do their thing." They are on the verge of passing a $2 trillion stimulus bill which will provide relief for low income workers and industries. Despite the oftentimes contentious debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated on Thursday that they will hold a “strong” bipartisan House vote for the bill on Friday. 

It's about time. Americans need relief now.

"Nobody understands the pain more than this White House," Navarro said. "We are attuned to their plight and we're going to try to get them their cash cushion as soon as possible." 

"The president and his team are doing everything they can to deal with this public health emergency and economic crisis," he continued. "We have to be like the British in WWII with a stiff upper lip and fight this virus."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who participated in several bipartisan discussions with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer these past few weeks, also tried to reassure Americans about those stark unemployment statistics. 

"To be honest, I just think these numbers right now are not relevant," he said on CNBC.

When the relief bill passes, he predicts a lot of small businesses will be able to "hire back" some of those people.