PERMIAN BASIN, Texas (Nexstar) – During a visit to West Texas, President Donald Trump hinted that a second round of stimulus checks could exceed the $1,200 payment amount issued in the first COVID-19 stimulus package.
Trump flew into Midland International Air and Space Port on a warm Wednesday morning for a fundraiser and to visit an oil rig, where he spoke to a crowd of energy executives and workers.
During the visit, he stopped for an exclusive interview with sister station KMID to discuss a second round of stimulus checks, vaccine timetables, Rep. Louie Gohmert’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis and unemployment in the energy sector.
When asked if a $1,200 direct payment to Americans was enough, Trump said, “We’re going to see it may go higher than that, actually.”
“I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people, I want the people to get it, you know, the economy is going to come back,” Trump continued. “We saved millions of lives but now we’re bringing (the economy) back … we gotta take care of the people in the meantime.”
Trump was optimistic about a vaccine and the progress of U.S. drug companies, saying he thought there would be “something” before the end of the year, “but maybe sooner than that.”
He also said he would take the vaccine.
“I would do it, yeah, I mean if I take it first they’ll say ‘he shouldn’t do it first,’ but if I take it last they’ll say ‘he shouldn’t take it last,'” Trump said.
The president was joined Wednesday by Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Rep. Michael Conaway and Rick Perry, among several others, at a luncheon in Odessa before heading to the Double Eagle Energy rig site later in the afternoon.
Hundreds gathered throughout downtown Odessa as the motorcade made its way to the sold-out fundraiser.
At the rig site, Trump delivered remarks to members of the energy industry before signing and discussing pipeline permits that will allow Texas to export oil to Mexico.
“We will maintain this dominant position long into the future, we’ll never lose this position, by announcing today that export authorizations for American liquefied natural gas can now be extended through the year 2050,” President Trump said.