Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday the U.S. economy could sustain "permanent damage" if state shutdown measures continue for months longer. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell agreed the economic outlook is dire amid the coronavirus pandemic, and suggested large-scale federal and state policy efforts will be necessary to slow the downturn and ignite recovery. Powell said the Fed may expand its program to buy municipal debt. "We may need to do more, and Congress may, as well," he said. Mnuchin deflected blame on the administration's handling of the crisis, saying the government has provided "enormous amounts" of support to states. He said if shutdown measures continue, some unemployed Americans may no longer have jobs to return to.
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