White House Adviser, Trump Donor Calls COVID-19 a ‘Chinese Nightmare’
One of the influential advisers of the White House on issues concerning businesses in the United States has called the pandemic a “Chinese nightmare.”
POTUS Donald Trump recently presided over a roundtable discussion with some restaurant executives at the White House, MailOnline reports. The meeting was about the current state of the restaurant industry and the bid of many to extend the Payment Protection Program (PPP) period through October.
James Bodenstadt, a known Trump donor, is one of the executives who attended the meeting. Bodenstadt is the CEO of Muy Cos., which operates Wendy’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchises.
Bodenstadt has donated over $400,000 to the president’s reelection and now he is the first fast-food franchisee to advise the White House on industry concerns. The amount includes the $200,000 he gifted to the Trump Victory PAC in March, according to FEC filings.
When it was his turn to speak, Bodenstadt made some very striking statements that many found to be ignorant and callous.
“Frankly, you know, eight weeks, nine weeks ago I was thinking about this ‘Chinese nightmare’ and I didn’t want it to affect the American Dream that we all had,” Bodenstadt said.
“And I’m a success story about the American Dream, going from $3.45 an hour starting at the front counter of a fast food restaurant, to what we have today.”
Other restaurant industry leaders have requested that they need at least 24 weeks to spend the funds, not eight weeks as the current measure mandates.
In the end, Trump appeared to be very welcoming of the suggestions. However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is working on a “technical fix” to alter the loan window and that there is bipartisan support for it.
Initially passed as part of a measure for small businesses in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the PPP bailout funds were signed by Trump at the end of March. After the first $250 billion had already been pledged to small businesses across the country, the fund was replenished to accommodate more applicants.
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