Goldman Sachs Executive Calls For Reopenings Amid WuFlu Crisis

Goldman Sachs Executive Calls For Reopenings Amid WuFlu Crisis

Goldman Sachs Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein warned Sunday that a months-long shut down of the global economy could pose far more consequences on public health than the virus itself.

Blankfein said that while measures taken in the early stages of the Wuhan virus to flatten the curve are necessary, prolonged social distancing measures taken to extremes might end up doing more harm than good.

“Extreme measures to flatten the virus ‘curve’ is sensible-for a time-to stretch out the strain on health infrastructure,” Blankfein wrote on Twitter. “But crushing the economy, jobs and morale is also a health issue-and beyond. Within a very few weeks let those with a lower risk to the disease return to work.”

Blankfein’s tweet drew a response from hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, who called for a 30-day federal shutdown to tame the virus.

“The virus can’t survive without a host,” Ackman wrote back on Monday. “With a coordinated national shutdown for all but essential services, manufacturing, retail etc for 30 days, the virus is largely obliterated. When the economy reopens, we test widely so that we can quarantine outbreaks when they reappear.

The back-and-forth comes as the nation enters its second week where drastic actions taken in states across the country have landed one in five Americans on lockdown.

As stock markets continue their downward spiral and businesses begin to announce permanent closings, many have questioned the costs and benefits of forcing millions of Americans out of work and risking a great depression. State and local governments are still announcing new measures to tighten the lockdown with no end in sight, while major gaps in the data leave policymakers and experts flying blind. Schools, churches, restaurants, bars, venues and historical sites remain closed forecasting unemployment to skyrocket with complete uncertainty as to when the government-mandated closings will end.

Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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