Author Joel Kotkin discusses urban communities, young people being hit hardest by effects of COVID-19

Author Joel Kotkin on Wednesday said that urban communities and young people are being hit hardest by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and will have a tougher time recovering.

Kotkin, a presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, told Hill.TV that small businesses in inner-city communities face a “really rough turn” and predicted that many will never reopen after the coronavirus shutdown.

“What you’re really seeing and, I think it’s really tragic, is that the small businesses that were deemed nonessential are — many of them are never gonna reopen,” he said. 

Kotkin said he also expects young people to struggle as they are generally paid less and more likely to lose their jobs. 

“The young people are really getting screwed in this situation because they got through the terrible recession of 2008. They were just coming back, and they get hit again,” he said.

He added that he thinks rail-dependent areas will have trouble coming back but will “reinvent themselves.”

The coronavirus pandemic, which shut down much of the country starting in mid-March, has led to almost 2 million Americans contracting COVID-19 and to at least 112,311 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.