Trump Says Task Force Will Pivot To Reopening Country, But Consumers Still Worried About Health

President Trump announced on Wednesday (May 6), in a series of tweets, that his COVID-19 task force would actually continue its work, but that it will focus on “safety and opening up our country again.”

These comments came less than 24 hours after Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said they were wrapping up the task force’s work and would instead focus on restarting the economy. Pence, who has led the task force for two months, was looking to close up shop at the end of May and turn coronavirus responsibilities over to the states, per a Wall Street Journal report.

“It really is all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country,” Pence had said earlier in the week.

By this morning, however, Trump had changed his tune. However, he praised Pence for doing “a fantastic job” leading the panel, which includes such key health experts as Dr. Anthony Fauci.

As the nation moves to ease shutdown orders and ramp up the economy, what will it take to get consumers to join in? And what will American life look like when lockdowns are lifted?

As reported by PYMNTS, Americans are growing more concerned about the possibility of dying from the coronavirus than about losing their jobs or savings.

An April PYMNTS study found that 25 percent of consumers said they personally knew someone who has tested positive, an increase of 16.8 percentage points from one month prior. Nonetheless, roughly one-third of those who are still employed are worried about losing their jobs across industry sectors. Just over half (51 percent) of all construction workers fear their jobs are at risk, as do 38 percent of financial services employees. Even healthcare and social services workers (26 percent) now have those concerns.

What will it take to give consumers certainty as the country opens up? It appears that only having a vaccine will suffice.

And yet, the hundreds of billions of dollars flowing to SMBs have been only a stop-gap measure. As PYMNTS has reported, even when PPP forgivable loans were factored in, SMBs surveyed said they would only have enough funds for another 69 days.