Talk continues on reopening America but there is no plan on how to deal with the economy and coronavirus at the same time. It seems that there is no simple answer. Although testing may provide a good start in the right direction, no one has made enough tests to even talk seriously about it.
One thing is certain, reports are coming out that many more people have already been exposed than were previously imagined. Now there is no way of knowing whether you are likely to get it or not. Some fun hotspots have just reopened, such as some beaches in Florida and New York, as well as boatyards. State parks will open Monday in Texas, and other states may open some businesses and recreational areas this week.
Opening for Business
President Trump continues to move America to open up for business, but says that he is leaving it up to the governors of each state. While many would like to see that happen, the majority of people want the country to remain locked down, knowing that it will help prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Some researchers at MIT put the issue of reopening now to a neural network and looked for results. The study revealed that reopening too soon would cause coronavirus infections to spread so fast that it would nullify what had been gained so far by social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
The Economy Is Contracting
Economic experts are saying that the economy is contracting rapidly. The contraction has been over 10% just in the first quarter. This makes it the biggest drop in the gross domestic product since 1947. Already, many businesses that have closed because of the virus are never going to reopen.
The checks that have been given out already to businesses are not going to last very long. While it may keep some people afloat for a little while, it does not mean that they will be able to open their business again. Their supply chain may also no longer exist.
The New Plan for More Financial Support
After causing a large delay in getting a new wave of funds for small businesses, it appears that Pelosi and the Democrats are closer to coming to an agreement – which may come Monday. The new funding includes about $470 billion for small businesses, but also money to help hospitals and staff, police and fire personnel. $25 billion is designated to provide supplies for testing.
It will also include money, $310 billion, to resupply the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses. Some of the money – $60 billion – will go toward loans that will help minorities and other groups that have not yet been included in any benefits so far.
There is still some controversy about the deal that may prevent a satisfactory conclusion. Both Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have stated that some of the money in the proposed package, such as financial help for state and local governments, will not be going into this package but may be allowed in the next one.
The Oil Industry
Although the oil storage tanks of America are not full yet, they are getting closer. When they get full, oil production will have to be reduced and possibly even stopped. If that happens, it will put even more people out of work but it may depend on how soon America can go back to work and start traveling again.