Steven Mnuchin: ‘Permanent economic damage’ to the public without reopen

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Trump administration officials sought Sunday to lower short-term expectations on the cratering economy, predicting that unemployment will spike in the second quarter while promising a historic rebound in the latter half of 2020 — right before the presidential election.

“The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better, but that is why we are focused on rebuilding this economy,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ll have a better third quarter. We’ll have a better fourth quarter. And next year is going to be a great year.”

President Trump’s reelection may depend on it. After overseeing three years of stock-market highs and historically low unemployment, the jobless rate soared in April to 14.7%, the worst since the Great Depression, the result of the government-ordered economic shutdown in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.