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Second stimulus check: Trump appears to confirm payment plans

Speaking to Scripps' Joe St George on Monday, US President Donald Trump seemed to say Americans can expect to get a second coronavirus Economic Impact Payment.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of a portrait of former president Theodore Roosevelt during an event  in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 9, 2019.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Jonathan ErnstREUTERS

United States President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to confirm plans to give Americans a second stimulus check as part of a coronavirus relief package due to be announced in a “couple of weeks”.

Next stimulus package will be "very generous", says Trump

"We are, we are," Trump said when asked by Scripps' Joe St George whether he is going to be getting people in the country a second check. “We will be doing another stimulus package, it’ll be very good, it’ll be very generous.”

He added: "I think it’s going to be bipartisan, I think it’s going to be [announced] over the next couple of weeks."

Did Trump confirm stimulus check or stimulus package?

However, there is some doubt in the US media as to whether or not Trump definitely did say that a second round of Economic Impact Payments is on its way. In his interview with St George, he replies "we are" almost before the reporter says the word "check", and then only goes on to talk about a "package".

"If you want to parse words very carefully," argues Forbes writer Jim Wang, "President Trump said the next stimulus package would be announced in a couple of weeks. He didn’t specifically say there would be a check in that package."

Trump thought to be focused on boosting economy through employment

Trump has previously offered Americans cause for optimism that they will be receiving a second check, but the president's remarks on Monday come amid indications that his priority is to stimulate the economy by building employment rather than distributing direct financial aid.

Presidential economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said that the Trump administration is looking "very carefully" at a proposed return-to-work bonus, for example, and this month told Fox Business: "I think we need less rescue and more incentive.”

Trump is also eyeing an ‘Explore America’ travel tax-credit scheme aimed at kick-starting the US tourism industry, which the US Travel Association says would allow people to claim back up to $4,000 on domestic vacation expenses.

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Live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

At the time of writing, there had been 2,305,950 coronavirus cases in the United States, leading to 120,340 deaths. You can keep up-to-date with the latest America-focused Covid-19 news by following our live US feed.