Remarks on the Economic Crisis and Jobs Report

Millions more Americans would still have their jobs today if Donald Trump had done his job. And many of the jobs that have now come back should never have been lost in the first place.

Good morning — today we learned the latest jobs numbers.

Like every American, I’m glad that millions of American workers are back on payrolls and that this historic unemployment we still face has at least come down a bit more.

This is a good day for every one of those individuals and families who regained their security.

But as happy as I was for millions of workers returning to their jobs — there is one number I was stunned that the president didn’t mention even once at his press conference.

That number was 50,000.

Yesterday, the number of new COVID-19 cases in America topped 50,000 in a single day. We’ve never hit that number before in the course of this virus. In 45 states, the 7-day average of infections are higher than they were a week ago.

In some places, hospital ICUs are at or nearing capacity. And we are seeing all across the country spikes in the virus that are causing many states to impose new restrictions again.

To me, and to many Americans, this is a very worrisome turn in the path and severity of the virus. And the president didn’t even address it.

Yesterday he reiterated his belief that the virus was going to disappear.

Today he described what was happening as “fires” flaring up in the country. That’s just not an honest assessment of what is happening. And it’s not just me saying that — the rest of the world knows it too.

Just this week, 27 European countries have banned Americans from traveling there because of the surging numbers of COVID-19 in the U.S. and until this president faces what’s going on in our country, our economy will remain at risk.

Today’s report is positive news, and I’m thankful for it.

But make no mistake: we are still in a deep, deep jobs hole because Donald Trump has so badly bungled the response to the coronavirus, and now has basically given up responding at all.

Millions more Americans would still have their jobs today if Donald Trump had done his job. And many of the jobs that have now come back should never have been lost in the first place.

And for everyone whose job hasn’t come back — for everyone who doesn’t own stock, or who can’t get a sweetheart loan through connections — does this feel like victory?

For parents who are worried their kids can’t go back to school in the Fall, do you feel like this is “mission accomplished”?

And for people in states where COVID-19 is spiking, and we’re seeing record-high numbers of infections — do you feel like this crisis is under control?

Of course not. People are scared. They’re worried about their families and for the future.

But, just like last month, President Trump has spiked the ball and made this about him.

He doesn’t seem to realize he’s not even to the 50-yard line.

Only one-third of the jobs that were lost in March and April have now come back — and most of the jobs that returned were for people on temporary furlough.

That means these were the easiest jobs to get back as we re-open cities and states.

It’s only going to get harder from here.

Permanent job loss numbers actually went up by 588,000 — to almost 3 million.

President Trump touted the job gains for African American workers. But unemployment for black men actually rose — from 15.5 percent in May to 16.3 percent in June.

He touted the numbers for Latino unemployment — but those numbers are still more than three times higher than they were before this crisis started.

And let’s not lose sight of a critical point. Treport measures job gains as of June 12.

In the days since, we’ve seen cases spiking, some businesses have to close down again, some states reimposing restrictions.

And, in the last two weeks, we’ve seen almost 3 million new unemployment filings, and another 1.7 million people seek special pandemic unemployment insurance.

There’s no victory to be celebrated when we’re still down nearly 15 million jobs and the pandemic is getting worse, not better.

Millions of Americans who are still out of work, wondering when or if their job will come back, and worried about how to pay the bills in the meantime.

Trump wants to declare this health crisis over and unemployment solved. He’s deadly wrong — on both fronts.

We’re already at more than 128,000 dead — and that number keeps climbing.

That’s a direct consequence of Donald Trump’s bungled leadership and total mismanagement of this crisis from the start.

His failure to take quick action made this pandemic more costly for the American people in every way — in lives lost, in economic impact, in the emotional toll of living with so much doubt and uncertainty.

And now — as I said on Tuesday — he’s surrendered to this virus.

Other countries have figured out how to get the virus under control, re-open their economies, and put their people back to work.

Other leaders didn’t waste the time they were given from stay at home orders — they got to work solving the root cause of this crisis — the coronavirus.

Donald Trump’s just given up. He’s not even trying to secure our public health anymore. He’d rather get back to his campaign rallies.

He’s not interested in uniting us to fight our common threat. He’s decided he has more to gain by dividing this country for his own political purposes.

Without a uniform plan, and guidance from the federal government that state and local leaders can use to inform their re-opening plans, this is going to continue to be worse than it would otherwise be. Recovery will be slower. Unemployment will stay higher than it should be.

Has he even once expressed real empathy for the families who will never again be whole because of this virus?

Has he done anything real to prioritize support for working Americans who need help now?

Democrats in Congress have put forward legislation to reward and protect our brave frontline workers, help working families find child care, and extend the supplemental unemployment benefits for people for the duration of the economic crisis.

Meanwhile Republicans and President Trump are stalling on support for working families, even as they dole out tax-payer money to big corporations with zero accountability.

Has Donald Trump even acknowledged the disproportionate impact this disease is having on Black and Brown and Native communities — much less done anything to address these health disparities or the underlying systemic racism that shapes them?

Of course not.

That would require him to step up and lead. It would require him to put the American people ahead of his own interests.

It didn’t have to be like this.

America has more reported deaths and infections than anywhere else in the world. Our health care workers are still rationing personal protective equipment. We still don’t have sufficient testing to allow people to return to work with confidence.

President Trump has turned wearing a mask into a political statement.

And just yesterday, he was once more claiming that the coronavirus would “just disappear, I hope.”

It’s like deja vu all over again.

We’re months into this crisis and that’s still your best answer?

Quit hoping for the best, Mr. President.

Quit claiming victory with almost 15 million Americans still out of work because of this crisis.

Quit ignoring the reality of this pandemic and the horrifying loss of American life.

Act. Lead. Or get out of the way so others can.