Tens of millions of Americans have been put under shelter-in-place orders as coronavirus cases continue to rise. States and cities have shuttered businesses and restricted non-essential travel to limit the spread of the virus. As of Friday, the CDC reported 15,219 coronavirus cases in the U.S.
Congress and the White House are hammering out a trillion-dollar aid deal, that includes a stimulus to small businesses, assistance to health care facilities, and payments to individual Americans. The vote is planned for next Monday.
Economist and author, Stephen Moore, joined The Cats Roundtable to discuss what needs to be done if the U.S. and the world wants to limit the impact of the coronavirus before it slides into the long-term.
“We’ve got to get the thing contained,” Moore said. “And once we do, I’m really confident our economy will bounce back.”
But the fear of economists, like Moore, is that if the coronavirus is not contained quick enough, and the economy’s apprehensions aren’t calmed, the recovery could be a tough climb.
“This is going to take a real toll on the economy, there’s no question about it,” he said, explaining that if businesses remain closed, workers remain at home, and 401k’s continue to be jeopardized, the impact will be “significant.”
He indicated the growing number of unemployment filings this past week, believing those numbers are “going to compound in the weeks to come.”
“America has the greatest economic engine in the history of the world—but we cannot keep it shut down,” Moore warned.
And what Americans need is confidence that this crisis has a cure, which Moore believes requires a two-fold response.
“Job one is to find some kind of screen mechanism or a test, and job two is then to get the economy going,” he explained, pointing to the “promising results” from trial tests of new vaccines and treatments for the virus, as well as the trillion dollar aid package set to pass on Monday.
While Moore supports the legislation, he believes the relief offered by the bill needs to extend into the long-term so as to stimulate an effective recovery. Though he believes there are policies already in place to help the economy when the time comes, he asked for more, such as suspending the payroll tax to incentivize employers to hire.
He also said to streamline trial treatments for the coronavirus; he believes there needs to be a kind of “blanket waiver” on liability, so these tests can carry on without the fear of litigation.
In the end, Moore is confident the U.S. is rising to the task, but that time is of the essence, as quarantines and shelter-in-place rules cannot last forever.