Economist: Workers must have enough support to stay home during COVID-19

Economist Dean Baker said on Hill.TV's "Rising" on Wednesday that U.S. workers need support from the federal government that adequately provides for them to stay home from work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview, Baker pushed back on assertions from Republicans such as Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline MORE, who have argued that boosted unemployment benefits provided as part of the CARES Act were stopping Americans from returning to the job market and therefore should be reduced.

"We've had this big debate on the Hill where you have a lot of Republicans complaining that we're encouraging people to stay at home," he said. "And the strange aspect of that is, I would agree with them. We are encouraging people to stay at home, because that should be what we want to do."

"You exclude [New York and New Jersey], the rest of the country – we have more than three times the infection rate a day than we did back in the start of April," added Baker, who is co-founder of the left-leaning think tank Center for Economy and Policy Research.

Watch Baker's interview above.