Donald Trump's response to Covid-19 seems to be changing by the day and is seemingly dependent on how it's impacting his personal interests. But a new report suggests this may include how well his own properties are performing during the pandemic.
A few weeks ago, the president was all for social distancing, which at the moment, appears to be the best way to combat the virus.
However, this week he is now less in favour of that measure and believes that Americans can begin returning to their normal lives as soon as Easter Sunday.
Well, a reason behind this sudden switch is reportedly down to Trump's own financial situation suffering a few difficulties during the current crisis.
A report by the Washington Post suggests that because of the outbreak the president's business empire, which is now run by his adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr, has had to close six of its seven highest-earning revenue locations.
This includes clubs, golf resorts and hotels in Florida, Las Vegas, New Jersey, Ireland and Scotland. The report states that these spots would bring in $174m a year for Trump, which works out at $478,000 a day.
The Post writes:
As he is trying to manage the pandemic from the White House, limiting its casualties as well as the economic fallout, his company is also navigating a major threat to the hospitality industry. That threatens to pull Trump in opposite directions, because the strategies that many scientists believe will help lessen the public emergency—like strict, long-lasting restrictions on movement—could deepen the short-term problems of Trump’s private business, by keeping doors shut and customers away.
Trump has also had to lay off hundreds of employees from his hotels in New York, Washington DC and Las Vegas, as the venues continue to lose money due to lack of visitors.
The Post quotes Jan Freitag, an analyst for the hotel industry, who says:
The data is bad. And we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. What we’re seeing here is a rapid descent that’s going to last. So it’s going to be a little bit of a worst-case combination of post-9/11 and [the financial crisis of] 2009.
If the situation worsens there is a possibility that the Trump Organisation could appeal for a bailout, but the president could not say whether his business will apply for it, despite three of Trump's hotels in Florida, Chicago and Washington all having outstanding loans to Deutsche Bank, that originally totalled more than $300m.
He said on Sunday, in regards to the bailout:
Everything’s changing, just so you understand, it’s all changing. But I have no idea.
With that being said, Chuck Schumer has already banned the Trump family from having access to the $2tr bailout agreed on Wednesday. In a letter that the Democrat wrote to the Senate he said:
[The deal will ] prohibit businesses controlled by the president, vice-president, members of Congress, and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from treasury programs. The children, spouses and in-laws of the aforementioned principals are also included in this prohibition.
Speaking of Trump's Chicago hotel, it is operating as business as usual, despite the city introducing a program to use empty hotel rooms to accommodate people who have coronavirus and those awaiting test results. The city of Chicago is paying $175 a night for the rooms but according to a spokesperson for Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Trump's hotel is not a part of this scheme "at this time."