Fox's Cavuto: No clear answers on safe return to work: 'An economic-life and death concern joined at the hip'

Fox's Cavuto: No clear answers on safe return to work: 'An economic-life and death concern joined at the hip'
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Fox News and Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto says the coronavirus pandemic is "an economic-life and death concern joined at the hip" for many Americans.

In an interview with The Hill ahead of a Fox Business town hall he will moderate Thursday afternoon, Cavuto said that while people want to get back to work, there are still many health questions around the safety of a relative return to normal "with deaths still out there."

"The biggest question people ask [me] revolved around, 'Am I safe? Is it safe to go back? When I get back to my job am I safe?'" Cavuto said. He said he's received emails from viewers regarding the pandemic that has claimed more than 70,000 lives in America.

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"A lot of older workers have emailed concerns about their own longevity at a company," Cavuto notes. "If they’re the last to be welcomed back, maybe the company is saying, 'You’re not really worth the fuss.' They’ve been concerned about that."

"We’re getting a little antsy being cooped up in our homes," he said. "But by the same token, we want to make sure we’re heading back, but it’s clear out there. And a lot of answers are, no it’s not, deaths are still out there, cases are still out there."

"This is an economic-life and death concern joined at the hip here," Cavuto later added.

In the past five weeks, more than 33 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, with gross domestic product growth expected to contract in the second quarter by as much as 24 percent, according to one estimate by Goldman Sachs.

The town hall, "America Works Together," which will feature Home Depot co-founders Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone.

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Cavuto, who also serves as managing editor of business news, says Marcus and Langone were asked to join the town hall due to their past experiences in guiding companies through challenging economic times.

"We’ve been through worse economic times. It’s hard to picture. This is a unique event; I’m not minimizing the record unemployment," Cavuto explained. "But we made a point of trying to get Bernie Marcus and Kenneth Langone, who co-founded Home Depot in the middle of a pretty bad recession during the Carter years."

"And the reason I wanted to bring them on is from a business standpoint, we wanted to show that even when no one is giving you a shot, and the environment is lousy, everyone is dismissing your chances — kind of like what a lot of businesses are doing now — you can make something of this; a compelling business, a compelling restaurant, a compelling store," the anchor continued.

"If given the opportunity and the right niche and the right approach, you can do this. But I think a lot of people are jaded and concerned, beyond just the virus. 'I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to economically come back.' I want to use cases like that to show you can. You can overcome your fears and anxiety with this," Cavuto added.

On the political aspect of the pandemic in an election year, Cavuto believes the 2020 election will largely hang on the president's handling of the pandemic from a health and economic perspective, but cautioned President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE on being overly optimistic.

"It will be the referendum on him and how he is handling this," he sad. "If the polls are getting better, if the trend is right, he’s in good shape. If it’s not, or that — the worst thing you want to be is overly optimistic. If things get worse, then he’s in trouble. But this [election] will all be about progress on the virus pretty much."

Cavuto, 61, came to Fox News at its inception in 1996 after seven years with CNBC.