Welcome back to Human Capital! President Donald Trump has named two separate teams – financial services leaders and lawmakers — to help reopen the nation’s economy, but Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee, tells Human Capital that the public health crisis brought on by COVID-19 must be contained first or the nation’s businesses risk a “false start.”
In announcing his Opening Up America Again campaign Friday, a three-stage plan for governors to use in reopening their economies, Trump argued that preserving the health of Americans also means “preserving the health and functioning” of the nation’s economy.
But hold on, Beyer told Human Capital in a Friday email message. The No. 1 priority for the economic task forces should be “to listen to the epidemiologists and other experts” who warn the health crisis is paramount “and that reopening the economy too soon — before the coronavirus is sufficiently contained — could make a horrible situation even worse.”
The nation’s top economists are “clear that the No. 1 priority for the economy is to contain the coronavirus,” Beyer said. “That will require extended social distancing, widespread testing, a treatment and a vaccine. America can’t open for business fully until those are in place.”