President Donald Trump spoke to several billionaire hedge fund and private equity managers Tuesday morning about reopening the U.S. economy, which has ground to a halt in the the coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said.
Trump is re-evaluating whether to call for people to return to work as the economic damage from the shutdown has mounted. He discussed the path forward by phone with money managers including Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment, John Paulson and Blackstone Group Inc.’s Stephen Schwarzman, one of the people said.
A representative for Jones declined to comment and spokespeople for the other firms didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
The president’s rhetoric shifted in recent days as he and his economic advisers debate whether limits to social contact and business closures are dragging the nation into a recession.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF!” Trump tweeted Monday.
A White House spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
During a virtual town hall with Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said he would like to get the economy back open by the Easter holiday, which falls on April 12. As the president has increasingly talked about re-opening businesses, public health officials have warned against doing so, including the World Health Organization, which earlier Tuesday said the U.S. could become a new hub of the outbreak.
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