White House officials are discussing paid sick leave and other ways to shelter the coronavirus-hit US economy

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  • The expansion of paid sick leave could be part of a White House package to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus in the US.
  • A host of economic proposals have been brought up but remained in preliminary stages, a senior administration official told Business Insider early Monday. 
  • On Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration could provide financial relief to Americans. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The expansion of paid sick leave could be part of a White House package to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus in the US, as the outbreak increasingly raises alarm among businesses and investors. 

A host of economic proposals have been brought up but remained in preliminary stages, a senior administration official told Business Insider early Monday. 

“We’d consider anything that was needed,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “There are many things under consideration which will never be needed. Nothing is final until it’s final.” 

President Donald Trump has publicly dismissed the prospect of a broader stimulus plan that some have called for since the Centers for Disease Control warned in February that the respiratory illness COVID-19 would spread through the US. 

But White House and Treasury officials worked over the weekend on a proposal that could include the temporary expansion of paid sick leave, Bloomberg News first reported Monday. The White House press office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. 

On Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration could provide financial relief to Americans but stressed that any response would be targeted toward certain industries or individuals. 

“What we are looking at is a timely and targeted micro approach,” Kudlow said in an interview with Fox Business Network. “We are not looking to give everybody $1000, which would not have any long-term growth effects on the economy.” 

The relief could happen in part through tax deferments for the cruise, travel, and airline industries, The Washington Post first reported.

The White House has defended its response to COVID-19, which has contradicted health officials at times and drawn sharp scrutiny from critics. Democratic leaders have called on the White House to introduce paid sick leave and other worker protections amid COVID-19.

As global financial markets dropped sharply early Monday, Trump sought to downplay the COVID-19 outbreak and cast blame on the press and Democrats. 

“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant,” he wrote. “Great job being done by the  @VP and the CoronaVirus Task Force. Thank you!”

SEE ALSO: The US lifts tariffs on Chinese face masks and other medical supplies amid coronavirus outbreak

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Source: businessinsider
White House officials are discussing paid sick leave and other ways to shelter the coronavirus-hit US economy