Mnuchin Assures Wall Street No More Lockdowns of Economy, Regardless of COVID Spikes
June 14, 2020 (EIRNS)—Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tried to reassure Wall Street at the end of the week that the U.S. economy would not be shut down a second time, regardless of the resurgence of COVID-19 in many states across the country. Concern that there would be a return to lockdowns reportedly played a role in the sharp drop of the markets during the week. “We can’t shut down the economy again,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on June 11. “I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage.”
The financial website Motley Fool emphasized a related issue. “State and local budgets are imploding from a sudden plunge in sales tax revenue and other receipts. New York City, for example, said it expected a loss of revenue up to $10 billion from the crisis. All of that means that state and local governments will be loath to implement another lockdown unless it is absolutely necessary.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN: “When you start seeing more hospitalizations, that’s a sure-fire sign that you’re in a situation where you’re going in the wrong direction.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deputy director for infectious diseases Jay Butler stated in a press briefing June 12, “If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again.” Butler said state and local officials will have the final word, given local variations in the numbers.