March 18, 2020 / 12:31 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. Pence aide dismisses reports of possible 20% U.S. unemployment

WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) - Marc Short, the chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, said on Wednesday there were no forecasts of 20% unemployment in the United States because of the coronavirus outbreak, after reports suggested such a rise was a possibility.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had told Republican senators on Tuesday that failure to act on a proposed coronavirus rescue package could lead to U.S. unemployment as high as 20%, a person familiar with the closed-door meeting said.

Short said Mnuchin was talking about different actions under a wide range of scenarios. “Nobody is right now that I know forecasting a 20% unemployment from the coronavirus,” he told Fox Business Network. “The foundation of our economy remains incredibly strong. This is a short-term we believe challenge.” (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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