Fox News host Neil Cavuto accused Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report Menendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS MORE of having a "very dismissive, condescending ... dumb-ass tone," after the official said a recent unemployment report for last week that topped 3.2 million claims was "not relevant" due to the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed in the Senate.
“I just think these numbers right now are not relevant,” Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday when asked about the initial jobless claims. "The good thing about this bill is, the president is protecting these people.”
However, Cavuto appeared unimpressed with Mnuchin's comments.
“Mr. Secretary, they are relevant,” Cavuto said on his Fox Business Network program in response. “Those are 3.25 million Americans that don’t have jobs anymore.”
“And you might look at them as aberration,” he continued. “But they matter to those people because you know what? They don’t have jobs!”
“Tone is everything. That’s a very dismissive, condescending — just a dumb-ass tone," the host concluded.
Fox Business correspondent Charlie Gasparino concurred with Cavuto, calling Mnuchin’s remarks “horrible.”
“You’ve got to choose your words very carefully,” Cavuto added. “They are human beings who are desperately looking for something.”
Initial jobless claims rose to 3.28 million the week of March 15-22, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday morning.
The $2.2 trillion economic relief bill the Senate unanimously approved Wednesday night included substantial funds aimed at keeping workers on payrolls and a four-month expansion of unemployment benefits that also covers workers furloughed due to the pandemic.
The stimulus also includes forgivable bridge loans to those small businesses who keep workers on the books, along with a retroactive provision that advocates rehiring while covering wages of workers in recent weeks.
The House is expected to vote on the package in the coming days.