WASHINGTON, DC -- President Trump again spoke extensively at the daily White House briefing Wednesday on the government's response in the coronavirus crisis.
He said he remained committed to restarting "normal" life around the country, though notably he said it would only be "sections," possibly those less affected or at lower risk of an outbreak, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force, has previously mentioned.
"The more lives we can save and the sooner we can eventually get people back to work, back to school, and back to normal, and there are large sections of the country, probably, can go much sooner than other sections. And we are obviously looking at that, also. People are asking: 'Is that an alternative?' Absolutely, it is an alternative," Trump said.
Trump resorted to calling a reporter “fake news” when asked about his goal of “reopening” the country by Easter, which health experts and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized as too early.
“The media would like to see me do poorly in the election,” Trump said, repeating unsubstantiated claims he has made on Twitter in the face of backlash to his mid-April goal.
“Just so you understand, I think there are certain people who would like it to not open so quickly, I think there are certain people who would like it to do financially poorly because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls,” Trump said, despite no supporting evidence.
“I don't know if that is so, but there are people in your profession that would like that to happen, I think it's very clear. That there are people in your profession who write fake news, you do, she does, there are people in your profession that write fake news,” Trump said, pointing at another reporter in the briefing room.
Notably, neither Trump nor his potential Democratic opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have campaigned over the past few weeks because of health risks from coronavirus.
With regard to the economic stimulus package close to passing Congress -- and the direct payments it includes for individuals -- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said those who have signed up for direct deposit with your IRS tax return will get their payments from the government within the next three weeks.
“We also have economic impact payments, these will be within the next three weeks, direct payments into most people's deposit accounts and for those that don't have it, we will be having the checks in the mail,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin did not say how long those who are not signed up for direct deposit will have to wait for their checks in the mail.