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'US Economy Can Suffer Permanent Damage If COVID-19 Lockdown Is Extended': Treasury Secy

American families & businesses are suffering amid the nationwide shutdowns, Steven Mnuchin told a Senate committee, but economy should be reopened with caution.

US

While US President Donald Trump has been facing flack for pushing to reopen the country amid a continuous spike in death toll due to coronavirus, US Treasury chief said that country’s economy would suffer “permanent damage” if the nationwide lockdown is extended further. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on May 19 said in the Senate committee that millions across the nation are impacted with businesses being shut down in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, he added that the government is “conscious” of the public health and the path to reopening the US would be in a “safe way”.

Moreover, Mnuchin has also backed the Trump administration and its decisions to rectify the plunging economy. He also assured that the Americans are protected by the government as the death toll due to COVID-19 spiked to 93,136 after recording at least 1,155 new fatalities in just 24 hours. Along with that, the US currently has 1,110,281 active cases of coronavirus infections until May 20. 

While speaking to the committee through videoconference, a ranking member posed a question to Mnuchin and asked, “How many workers should give their lives to increase the GDP or the Dow Jones by 1000 points?". Mnuchin replied that the question was unfair and raised concerns of the “permanent damage” to the US economy if the shutdown is extended further. 

Read - US Economy Will Recover, Could Stretch Through End Of Next Year: Fed

Read - Risk Of Reopening US Economy Too Fast: A W-shaped Recovery

'Vaccine or no vaccine'

While unveiling the guidelines for reopening the country amid coronavirus outbreak, US President Donald Trump has said that “vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back”. Owing to the unprecedented global health crisis, the businesses across the world have been shut down and the monetary impacts of the outbreak are also worrying the leaders. During such times, while the US has recorded most deaths in the world, Trump said “it’s very important” to start the process of ‘Opening Up America Again’.

Further showing optimism about restarting the country, the US President that “in many cases” the vaccine is not available so “you fight through it”. He also admitted that the world has not witnessed anything similar to COVID-19 pandemic in “100 years”.

Read - US Economy Will Bounce Back Despite Getting 'biggest Negative Shock': WH Officials

Read - Trump: US Economy Will 'transition Into Greatness'

Image Source: AP

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