Senate Republicans are currently trying to pass a $1.8 trillion coronavirus bailout package, however the $500 billion fund for affected businesses as well as state and local governments is raising concerns about who exactly would see that money.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be tasked with doling out $425 billion worth of funds, with virtually no oversight provisions for how he is allowed to distribute the money. Democrats are warning that Mnunchin could use this “slash fund” to bail out businesses that are politically aligned, such as corporations, GOP donors and even Trump’s own hotel empire.
Trump was asked about the validity of these concerns at a press conference on Monday evening, to which he replied with: “I’ll be the oversight, I’ll be the oversight. We’re gonna make good deals.”
When he was asked on Sunday if the bailout money would be used in any way to help relieve the strain put on his hotel business, who his sons Don Jr. and Eric are currently overseeing, he replied: “Everything’s changing, just so you understand, it’s all changing. But I have no idea.”
Trump’s business owns 11 hotels globally, and according to the Washington Post, “six out of the top seven” of his revenue-producing hotels and clubs are currently closed for business amid the coronavirus pandemic. These establishments, located in Las Vegas, New Jersey, southern Florida, Ireland and Scotland, rake in about $174 million a year in revenue, or about $478,000 per day, according to the Post.
Trump is currently grappling with how to best sustain the economy while also heeding the advice of scientists and public health experts. It’s clear he is more preoccupied with the former as opposed to the latter. On Monday, Trump suggested that “shelter in place” and social distancing measures could be abandoned despite warnings that the virus will ravage the population if isolation is not enforced.
“America will be open for business very soon,” he said.