President Trump has made it very clear that returning to a state of strict lockdowns is not an option for the US going forward.
President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Neel Kashkari stunned Trump by announcing on Sunday that the “only way” for the US economy to recover from COVID-19 is to renew strict lockdowns for several more months.
Kashkari told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “if we were to lock down hard for a month or six weeks, we could get the case count down so that our testing and our contact tracing was actually enough to control it the way that it’s happening in the Northeast right now.”
He explained that returning to lockdowns for several weeks is “the only way we’re really going to have a real robust economic recovery. Otherwise, we’re going to have flare-ups, lockdowns and a very halting recovery with many more job losses and many more bankruptcies for an extended period of time unfortunately.”
The US economy took a catastrophic hit with the first round of lockdowns, and the full extent of the economic damage has yet to fully materialize.
Kashkari’s solution to the immediate economic hit of shutting back down is to continue extending federal coronavirus relief payments, adding trillions to the already shockingly high deficit.
He explained that with rolling flare-ups of the disease over the next several years, “We’re going to see many, many more business bankruptcies, small businesses, big businesses” without intervention.
Though health experts initially agreed in March that widespread stay-at-home orders were the key to slowing or stopping the spread of the virus, after two months of strict lockdowns, new cases began rising in several states in the month of July, calling the efficacy of the initial lockdowns into question.