Obama adviser says 2008 offers lessons for coronavirus economy fight

Harvard practice of economic policy professor Jason FurmanJason FurmanThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history Progressives offer mixed messages on key Biden economic aide Former Treasury secretaries from both parties call for immediate COVID-19 relief deal MORE said Thursday that lessons can be learned from the 2008 Great Recession as the country's economy spirals due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Furman, who was the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama administration, noted the historic 6.6 million unemployment filings, calling the number "horrific."

"Ten million [people unemployed] counting last week," Furman told Hill.TV.

"This is something that took months to get to at this point in the Great Recession, now it's just taken two weeks."

Last week, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment, shattering a decades-old record that stood since the 80s.

The silver lining, Furman said, is that thanks to the new $2 trillion stimulus package, unemployed Americans will receive an additional $600 dollars a month.

Furman noted that like the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) the Obama administration inherited, much of the aid to businesses are loans that will be paid back, though he said that Congress would need to pass more stimulus packages before the pandemic is over.

"These things can last awhile," Furman said, referring to the U.S.'s economic tailspin. "The unemployment rate next year in 2021, even if we discover a vaccine, is likely to be significantly elevated because of all the trauma the economy has gone through.