Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The Trump Administration’s Handling Of Coronavirus Threatens A Long Unemployment Crisis
Press Release

RELEASE: The Trump Administration’s Handling Of Coronavirus Threatens A Long Unemployment Crisis

Washington, D.C. — Ahead of tomorrow’s jobs day report, the Center for American Progress is releasing a new column that explains how the dire unemployment numbers expected tomorrow are a result of a failed public health response and how the administration’s response could prolong the economic crisis.

The brief identifies how the Trump administration’s failure to respond adequately to the public health crisis has deepened the economic crisis. Their failures include:

1.) The administration’s initial missteps in containing the crisis, that have made it worse relative to our international peers.

2.) A failure to put in place effective measures going forward which—combined with a push to lift stay-at-home orders too quickly—is likely to prolong the spread of the virus as well as the economic fallout

3.) An unwillingness to commit to sufficient aid going forward  to states and localities; unemployed workers; and assistance to those struggling the most—making it more likely that projections of double-digit unemployment through 2021 become a reality

The analysis also makes the case that it is not too late for the federal government to act to set the country on a new path towards a future that will address the public health crisis and allow people to return to their jobs, through a robust CARES 2 package. CAP believes this package should be:

  • At a scale necessary to address the crisis. Action needs to be sufficiently large to address the immediate hardships families and communities are facing. And should be coordinated at the national, state and local levels.
  • Sustained for the duration of the crisis. We should learn from the Great Recession, when stimulus was insufficient and removed too soon. Relief must be automatic, and available with certainty for as long as it is needed
  • Targeted to all the areas where Americans are feeling economic hardship. Additional aid needs to reach those who have been excluded in previous packages including immigrant families, workers unable to access paid leave, and people experiencing poverty.

“As things stand, through their inaction and apathy, the Trump administration and it’s allies are creating a country where prolonged, widespread unemployment and mass death will become the norm,” said Andres Vinelli, vice president of Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress. “It doesn’t have to be this way. A robust CARES 2 packages that—through targeted relief and expansive public health measures—addresses the severity of the crisis for its duration will save lives and get America back to work.”

Read: “The Trump Administration’s Handling of Coronavirus Threatens a Long Unmeployment Crisis” by Andres Vinelli and Jacob Leibenluft

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.