Trump economic adviser calls for ‘no more lockdowns,’ ‘no more shutting down businesses’ amid COVID-19 surge
Economist Stephen Moore on Sunday called for “no more lockdowns” and “no more shutting down businesses” as many states across the country experience a surge in coronavirus cases.
“We are seeing a recovery,” Moore, a staunch ally of President Trump, told radio host John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM.
Moore added that said economic recovery is happening but “not quite as rapidly as I would like.”
The economist’s comments come as the nation’s economy struggles, showing unsteady improvement in some areas and devastation in others.
The U.S. stock market showed mixed results Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average opening with a loss of more than 100 points, a roughly 0.5 percent loss. The S&P 500 was roughly even with its Thursday close. However, the Nasdaq rose 0.9 percentage points as tech companies such as Facebook and Amazon reported soaring profits.
However, the Department of Commerce reported this week that the nation’s gross domestic product endured a record decline during the second quarter, and the Department of Labor reported a second consecutive week of more than 1 million unemployment claims.
The comments also come as a large number of of states in the South and the West continue to see large spikes in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, prompting governors to reinstate closures and some social distancing measures.
“Every single week, we’re seeing more and more people get into the workforce. We’ve got to get America back up and running,” Moore said. “No more lockdowns. No more shutting down businesses.”
Moore also remarked that lockdowns “didn’t work the first time” and “won’t work the second time.”
The states currently experiencing surges, with the exception of California, underwent short lockdown periods before reopening, and some public health experts say states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona, three states that have been hit hardest by the surge, opened too early.
Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said states currently experiencing surges “stepped on the gas” while lifting lockdown restrictions.
Lawmakers from either side of the aisle continue to butt heads over the amount of funding that will be provided in the next coronavirus relief legislation. Republicans introduced a bill this week that is a roughly $1 trillion package. However, Democratic leadership argues the amount is too small, pushing for a sum closer to the bill passed by House Democrats in May, about $3 trillion.
Moore said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is facing reelection in November herself, wants to hurt the economy “because [the Democrats] want to win” the presidential election.
“One of the things I’ve been advising the president [is] … go around Pelosi … as much as you can, Mr. President, through executive action, and then force Pelosi to try to stop you from doing it,” Moore said.
John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.
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