In a pair of late-night tweets, Trump reversed course on negotiating a new coronavirus stimulus relief bill that he had earlier announced he was calling off until after he won the election.
In the tweets posted shortly after 10 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Trump promised to immediately sign a bill providing $25 billion in airline payroll support and $135 billion dollars for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.
He also promised to provide additional aid for citizens who continue to struggle to recover from the economic disaster caused by the pandemic.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” he posted, referencing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Earlier in the day, Trump abruptly directed White House staff and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop negotiations and focus full time on approving his Supreme Court nominee.
Trump’s announcement that he was ending negotiations set off a firestorm from the stock market, Democratic lawmakers, leaders in the airline industry, and his own Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, who talked about the potential of a significantly weaker economic recovery. Financial markets dropped several hundred points on the news and Pelosi criticized the White House as being in “complete disarray.”
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Four members of the Joint Chiefs are quarantining after the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, tested positive for Covid-19. In addition to Admiral Ray, Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten, Gen. John Raymond of the Space Force, and Gen. Charles Q. Brown of the Air Force are also self-quarantining.
Top White House policy advisor Stephen Miller has tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement, Miller said he had been working remotely and self-isolating for the last five days and had tested negative every day through Monday.
Miller is the latest official infected by an outbreak at the White House that has seen at least 10 others test positive.
According to reports, the Commission on Presidential Debates is considering holding future debates outside to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The remaining presidential debates will take place in Miami and Nashville.
The commission is also implementing the use of plexiglass dividers during tonight’s vice-presidential debate. Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence’s team said it opposed use of the divider and thought it was unnecessary but ultimately agreed to use it. Sen. Kamala Harris’ team, however, wanted the plexiglass barriers, mainly because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak inside the White House.
On Tuesday, Facebook removed a post from Trump that downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that Covid-19 was less deadly than the common flu.
Twitter restricted a similar tweet from Trump. Instead of deleting the tweet, the tech giant flagged the post, saying the tweet violated the company’s rules about spreading misleading information.