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Chamber of Commerce warns 'virus is not behind us'

Chamber of Commerce warns 'virus is not behind us'
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, pointing to recent case surges in places like India.

“This virus is not behind us as long as the virus is out there, in the numbers that we see in India, the millions of cases there, and of course spreading elsewhere. If we don’t put it under control, these countries are going to be severely challenged in dealing with not just the health crisis, but the economic crisis, and this is where America needs to stand up,” Myron Brilliant, the Chamber’s executive vice president and head of international affairs, told CNBC on Tuesday. 

The Chamber is hosting the Global Forum on Economic Recovery this week, with more than 10,000 participants from 130 countries discussing economic recovery. On Wednesday, Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (R-Utah) and billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates are participating in panels for the event.

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“I’m optimistic about the United States’ recovery. I’m a little worried about some of the mixed signals out of China, the Dow recently has not been terrific. But we’re going to see growth in China, we’re going to see growth in the United States, hopefully some rebound in Europe over time. But that doesn’t matter if we don’t work together as a global community and deal with the potential of additional waves of this virus,” Brilliant said.

The comments come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new mask guidance saying that vaccinated Americans do not need to wear facial coverings in most settings.

Brilliant said he had a call this week with leading CEOs of U.S. companies involved with relief efforts in India.

“Certainly we’re not out of the woods here. The danger is in front of us if we don’t address this pandemic and deal with the challenges in countries around the world, including India,” he said 

India saw a record number of coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday, with 4,329 deaths confirmed. Cases in the past month have tripled, and reported deaths have increased by six times.