Clowns Will Not Re-Open America

Not a single economist or public health expert is on the proposed panel.

At some point, it will be safe to resume normal economic life. But how will we know? If people don’t trust the White House—whether they’re worried about a lack of expertise, or that they’re focused more on political goals—they’ll stay home even when govt experts say it’s safe. Without credibility, proclamations that it’s safe won’t work, and a private lockdown will replace the govt-mandated one. If that happens, the recession will needlessly drag on. As the govt throws away its credibility, it destroys its ability to prevent an ongoing downturn.

So, again, Governors are stepping into the void left by Trump’s lack of leadership. This afternoon, Governors across six states in the northeast, coordinated by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), convened in a public conference call Monday afternoon to discuss a cooperative effort to reopen the region’s economy once the threat from the coronavirus has sufficiently subsided. Shortly afterward, the governors of Washington, Oregon, and California released a statement regarding a separate but similar plan.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), chairman of the National Governors Association, said Monday that governors will consult with the team at the federal level about reopening. But Hogan added that it will ultimately be up to governors, and not Trump, to decide when to reopen their respective states.

“We do know this, that an economic recovery only occurs on the back of a complete health-care recovery,” New Jersey Governor Murphy said, noting that “the house is still on fire and we still have to put the fire out.”


Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan economist, on Twitter:


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