Donald Trump halts coronavirus relief talks until after election

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Donald Trump has said he is halting negotiations on Covid-19 relief in the US until after the election.

The president tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith”.

He said he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to direct all his focus before the election on confirming his US Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

It comes after the president was diagnosed with the virus last week and taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where he received an unprecedented level of care.

Mr Trump then staged a dramatic return to the White House on Monday evening, entering the building without a protective mask.

He tweeted on Tuesday: “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”

Last week, the White House said it was backing a 400 US dollars per week pandemic jobless benefit and dangled the possibility of a Covid-19 relief bill of 1.6 trillion dollars.

But that offer was rejected by Ms Pelosi.

Mr Trump broke off talks after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned earlier on Tuesday that the economic recovery remains fragile seven months into coronavirus pandemic without further economic stimulus.

Stocks dropped suddenly on Wall Street after Mr Trump ordered a stop to negotiations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung instantly from a gain of about 200 points to a loss of about 300 points.

Mr Powell, in remarks before the National Association for Business Economics, made clear that too little support “would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses”.