In an interview with Bloomberg published on Wednesday, former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich pushed for healthy Americans below the age of 55 to return to work in April. Although Kovacevich said a return should come when the coronavirus outbreak is under control, he acknowledged the possibility that reopening the economy at such a time could cause some deaths.
“We’ll gradually bring those people back and see what happens,” he said. “Some of them will get sick, some may even die, I don’t know.”
Kovacevich echoed Donald Trump, who recently expressed his desire to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter during a Fox News town hall, also acknowledging the possibility that some people would die as a result. Like the president, Kovacevich also compared COVID-19 to the flu, despite its higher fatality rate.
“Do you want to suffer more economically or take some risk that you’ll get flu-like symptoms and a flu-like experience? Do you want to take an economic risk or a health risk? You get to choose.”
As reported by CNBC, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence discussed the coronavirus’s economic impact during a private conference call with several Wall Street billionaires on Tuesday. Investors on the call included Intercontinental Exchange’s Jeffrey Sprecher, Citadel’s Ken Griffin, Vista Equity’s Robert Smith, Third Point’s Dan Loeb, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, and Just Capital’s Paul Tudor Jones.
According to people familiar with the call, the conversation was primarily focused on how American’s top Wall Street billionaires perceive the markets and economy in America. After this topic of discussion, the next priority was allegedly the steps the Trump administration could take to get a grip on the coronavirus and curb its damage to the country’s public.
Against the advice of medical professionals, President Donald Trump wants to scale back social distancing and reopen the economy in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/LJNx0KMzpV
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) March 24, 2020
Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, has notably contested the push from the wealthy to get the American economy restarted in the face of opposition from public health experts.
“Ignore anything someone like me might say,” Cuban reportedly wrote in an email to Bloomberg. “Lives are at stake.”
Robert Reich, who was labor secretary for President Bill Clinton, called the recent push for opening America back up for business “outrageous.”
“It is absolutely necessary to shut down the economy so that millions of people don’t die.”
While Trump continues to eye next month for a possible date to reopen the economy, health experts have warned of the repercussions. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Dr. Keith Martin, a physician who heads the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, claimed that removing pandemic restrictions would lead to a loss of life that could be tied to the president.