Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released a report, “Reopening Too Soon Will Have Steep Economic Costs,” drawing together evidence and expert opinion that highlights how reopening the economy prematurely may not only cause substantial damage to it but also prolong the recession. Currently, all states have begun lifting stay-at-home and social distancing orders even though almost none have met the White House’s guidelines for reopening.
“Every major economist I have talked with says the same thing—the number one priority for the economy is to contain the coronavirus and re-opening too soon may prolong the recession,” Congressman Beyer said. “The President, who recklessly suggested that Americans inject disinfectant to cure themselves of the coronavirus, has shown little understanding of public health – and in some ways less understanding of the economy. One depends on the other. This is not rocket science. The President’s ignorance of these issues will continue to cost us dearly.”
As the report explains, Americans oppose businesses returning to normal operations by wide margins. One poll found that over two in three Americans would not feel comfortable in a retail store, while three in four would not feel comfortable in a restaurant. Another poll found that 81 percent of Americans would not feel safe returning to the workplace if their state reopens.
About Congressman Beyer
Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Ambassador to Switzerland and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.