Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday the American economy is rebounding significantly from the coronavirus shutdowns because of the strong foundation President Trump built during his first three years in office.
Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department announced 5 million new jobs in June following a May of about 3 million new jobs. Economists had forecast the creation of only 2.9 million jobs in June.
Pence told CNBC the numbers show the American economy “is coming back strong.”
“It’s also a testament, unquestionably, to the historic steps President Trump took to see our nation through this coronavirus pandemic,” he said. “The mitigation efforts, the rescue packages – they’re all confirmed today. Nearly 5 million jobs created.
“And when we look at the number of jobs that were lost initially through this pandemic – at the worst moments, some 22 million jobs lost. We’ve – we’ve cut that now by a third, put 8 million Americans – we’ve lowered that number. Unemployment down to 11 percent.”
Pence acknowledged the rebound is not yet complete but said “the good news is, because of all the policies that President Trump put into effect over the first three years, the foundation of this economy is strong.”
He addressed the issue of coronavirus cases rising in many states.
“The president has instructed us to make sure that in those states that are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, and particularly a rise in positivity rates, that we want to make sure those states have everything they need,” he said.
“We’re going to stay with the states that are seeing rising cases every step of the way as they continue to take steps to mitigate the expansion of the coronavirus. But we’re going to keep opening up America again and have more days just like today.”
He noted the fatality rate is roughly where it was in March.
“That’s a testimony to what all the American people are doing, to our health care workers, and to the steady progress that we’re making. Every day, we’re one day closer to putting this coronavirus in the past,” he said.
“We’re going to get the kids back to school this fall just every bit as much as this report today shows that America is going back to work.”
He said the president already is working on another relief package to support growth and get people back to work.
The $600 per week in supplemental unemployment compensation isn’t likely to continue, however, because it may be an “unintended incentive for people to stay on the sidelines.”
Pence made it clear that Trump’s policies need to continue.
“I think the only long-term threat to a vibrant American economy is the kind of policies that Joe Biden and the Democrats are advocating. Where you have a president who built this economy on a foundation of tax cuts and rolling back red tape and unleashing American energy, in Joe Biden, you’ve got some – even this week, in the midst of challenging times in the life of our economy, Joe Biden said he was going to raise taxes in America.”