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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Despite Donald Trump’s bluster and dictates on when he says that he wants the US economy to get restarted, that timing is strictly up to the course of the virus which has much of the nation–and the world–shuttered away in avoidance of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Austan Goolsbee, who served as a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama.
Unemployment in the United States in recent weeks has spiked to levels not seen since the Great Depression, nearly a century ago, with some 17 million Americans claiming unemployment insurance.
Meanwhile, despite mounting casualties, Trump had earlier said that he wanted to “reopen the country” in time for Easter. Although he backed off that target, now Trump is pushing for getting the economy restarted by May 1.
This, despite the fact that the virus continues to spread, and sicken and kill Americans.
There have been more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 97,000.
In the United States, 476,397 cases have been reported, including 17,843 deaths, according to the most recent figures.
“And then the president said that we would be back to work and out of lockdown by Easter, which is on Sunday. And now the president says that they think that they can open it up by May. The virus is the boss,” Goolsbee said. “Donald Trump is not the boss. An economics panel is not the boss. The virus is the boss. You have to slow the spread of that virus before you can do anything in economics. That’s the Number One rule of pandemic economics.”
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