While millions of Americans face uunemployment, the loss of health coverage, and difficulty affording necessities over the coming months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump's business empire is reportedly seeking relief from outstanding debt and loans.
Trump signed a bill last week approving a one-time, means-tested $1,200 direct payment to some American workers amid the economic crisis that's resulted from the national public health emergency that has seen more than 236,000 people in the U.S. sickened by the coronavirus. According to NBC News, those payments may not get to some households for up to five months from now, and the sum is only expected to support many recipients for about two weeks—once it arrives.
While millions of Americans struggle to pay rent and bills in the coming weeks and with little assistance being offered across-the-board by the federal government, an increasing number of U.S. residents fear they will be unable to make payments as they wait to return to work.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, the Trump Organization has asked its largest creditor, Deutsche Bank, if it can postpone the repayment of some of its loans. The company also requested relief from its monthly payments to Palm Beach County, Florida, for the land on which one of the president's golf courses sits—citing the pandemic.
According to the Times, the president's son, Eric Trump expressed hope that the county and the bank would work with the Trump Organization, which Eric—along with Donald Trump Jr.—has helped run since Trump took office.
"These days everybody is working together," Eric Trump told the Times. "Tenants are working with landlords, landlords are working with banks. The whole world is working together as we fight through this pandemic."
While the federal government passed a moratorium on evictions for select homeowners and renters as part of the CARES Act, relief has varied from state to state, even though residents of a majority of states have been ordered to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.
"It's not fair—everything is shut down, you can't work. Our mayor says, 'Stay home, don't go outside,' but we're expected to pay the cost of subsidizing" landlords, Atlanta-based restaurant cook Casey James told the Washington Post Wednesday. "If we're really in this disaster, everything should be frozen."
Special treatment regarding Trump's company's payments while millions of Americans will be expected to fulfill their financial obligations in the coming weeks is "the nightmare scenario that everyone predicted when Trump refused to divest from his assets," Mother Jones reporter Russ Choma tweeted.
Podcast host Joe Lockhart wondered on Twitter whether Trump's company would allow its own tenants to skip rent payments as a result of the pandemic.
I'd be interested in knowing what help Trump and Jared are extending to their tenants as they ask for help themselves. https://t.co/mCJxUoDr1m
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) April 2, 2020
"We have to pay Donald Trump for the privilege of him getting to play golf during work hours at his own clubs, but he doesn't have to pay his own bills," wrote Crooked Media editor Brian Beutler.