BALTIMORE — The coronavirus has flung the U.S. economy into a dangerous tailspin, and President Donald Trump’s reelection hopes are caught in the sudden whirlwind.
For the next seven months, Trump may be consigned to campaigning in a country beset by a fear of job loss, bankruptcy and disease. It will require a remarkable pivot for the president, who has relentlessly cheered the stock market’s rise and the economy’s strength as the central predicate for a second term.
Many economists say the expected federal stimulus will not prevent a recession. Officials put the price tag of the developing package on Capitol Hill at nearly $1.4 trillion and said that with other measures from the Federal Reserve, the financial rescue could pump $2 trillion into the U.S. economy.
Stocks have already collapsed. Businesses and schools are closing to try to contain the outbreak. Requests for unemployment benefits suggest that weekly layoffs could soon eclipse the worst of the Great Recession as millions of people lose their jobs. Analysts at the bank Goldman Sachs estimate that 2.25 million Americans filed for jobless aid over the past week, a total slightly higher than the job gains for all of 2019.