Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: ‘We Can’t Shut Down the Economy Again’

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: ‘We Can’t Shut Down the Economy Again’”

The economic impact of the pandemic continues as well. The US has seen the worst of the virus worldwide, with 2,088,272 confirmed cases and 116,009 deaths.

The U.S. economy will be in recovery by the third quarter of this year, economists said in a survey that also concluded the labor market will fare better than previously expected following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. "I think we've learned that if you shut down the economy, you're going to create more damage", he told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Squawk on the Street.

That damage goes beyond economic fallout, extending to "medical problems and everything else that get put on hold", he said.

"I was very pleasantly surprised by the recent numbers, I though we were going to bottom in June not in May", Mnuchin said.

"We can't shut down the economy".

US President Donald Trump has touted the country as world leaders in testing, with the highest amount of tests worldwide.

Mnuchin said of the $3 trillion in coronavirus rescue spending approved by Congress this year, only about $1.6 trillion has filtered through the economy so far.

More news: Double Lung Transplant Saves COVID-19 Patient's Life in Chicago, Illinois

He expects that the rest will be pumped into the economy "over the next month".

He said that the program was supporting employment of about 50 million workers and more than 75 percent of the small business payroll in all 50 states.

"We're going to get everybody back to work". On Thursday, it was revealed that an additional 1.5 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total since the economy shut down to 44.2 million people over the last 12 weeks.

Mnuchin said he is ready to ask Congress for additional money if needed, after telling the Senate at a hearing Wednesday that the US will "definitely" need another bipartisan stimulus package to prop up certain vulnerable industries.

But the applications for PPP loans, which are forgivable if borrowers meet certain criteria, say such data will "automatically" be released.

Many small businesses had difficulties getting loans due to technical glitches, while some well-financed publicly traded companies accessed multi-million dollar loans, prompting Mnuchin to issue new guidance requiring the companies to return the funds.

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