Sen. Barrasso talks COVID and economy on Fox

JACKSON, Wyo. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) appeared on FOX Business with Stuart Varney yesterday to talk about the coronavirus and the economy.

Even as his headshot appeared above DOW numbers that were tumbling, Barrasso told Varney it is a difficult balance between safeguarding civil liberties for Americans and imposing restrictions that will keep citizens safer but cripple the economy.

“The economy is hurt by everything we are doing to protect public health. To get a healthy, robust economy back, we have to get the coronavirus threat behind us. The quickest way to do that is by taking the proper steps today to prevent any further spread of the illness,” Barrasso said.

“But is this going too far with the crackdowns and our individual behavior and movement? We’re closing bars, restaurants, stores, schools, daycare centers. We’re shutting down. Is that going too far?” Varney asked.

“I don’t believe it is. We’re going very far in terms of protecting public health and the cost is to the economy,” Barrasso answered.

Varney wondered aloud whether draconian measures like a nationwide shelter in place order were needed in a spacious and isolated state like Wyoming. “You’re very, very rural in Wyoming. It just doesn’t make any sense to have that kind of order does it?”

“No, and I oppose it not just for Wyoming but citizens everywhere,” Barrasso said. “Certainly, in Wyoming we are independent, resilient, and self-reliant…”

Regarding a federal response and recovery aid package in the House as he spoke on television and later approved by Congress, Barrasso said Washington’s response needs to be “big and bold and bipartisan.”

Later, Barrasso commented on the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

“In an unprecedented health and economic crisis that is changing rapidly by the hour, Congress has a responsibility to provide relief to those impacted. It’s critical that we get it right. To save lives and save our economy, Congress has a duty for the duration of this emergency to help Americans who find themselves facing this global pandemic,” Barrasso stated. “To help stop the virus from spreading, this legislation ensures that patients can receive testing and treatment. It also provides paid sick leave to employees of small businesses. We are not finished. Congress will pass additional targeted, temporary relief for many Americans and small business owners who suddenly find themselves out of work or forced to close their businesses.”

The Treasury and IRS yesterday announced they will extend the tax payment deadline by 90 days from April 15. Taxpayers will get a three-month reprieve to pay the income taxes they owe for 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

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