Government must prioritize coronavirus relief for small businesses: Carly Fiorina

Companies were warned about coronavirus as early as 2019, Fiorina said

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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina said on "Varney & Co" Wednesday that the government must prioritize relief spending for small businesses in the next coronavirus relief package.

Her comments came after the Senate passed a $484 billion aid package Tuesday, which includes an additional $310 billion in funding to replenish the tapped-out Paycheck Protection Program.

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"I think a great deal of the stimulus money needed to be spent, and I applaud Democrats and Republicans for coming together and getting the money out there," said Fiorina, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. "What I've been critical is taxpayer bailouts of big companies."

Fiorina has been vocal in recent weeks about the large, public corporations that have received hundreds of millions of dollars in PPP funding as part of the Trump administration's first $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

A pedestrian passes a business that has closed temporarily in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

She added that while big companies are struggling just like everyone else during the pandemic, they have more resources, including "deep banking relations, credit lines and the backing of the Federal Reserve ... but little businesses don't, working families don't."

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"The Federal Reserve has made a lot of liquidity available to a lot of large companies. In essence, the Federal Reserve has said to banks, 'Lend money. We'll back you.' ... It is one of a big company's jobs ... to prepare for the bad times, even in good times."

The U.S. is already $4 trillion into stimulus spending, she added, and the Trump administration has to appropriately allocate and prioritize the next round of coronavirus relief funding to small businesses in its upcoming $484 billion relief package.

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Fiorina also said it's "not accurate to say there was no warning about the coronavirus" as early as 2019, and many businesses and governments ignored those warnings.

"The most effective leaders during this crisis, whether they're Democrats or Republicans ... they keep the politics out of it," she said.

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