Washington must do more to help the nation's businesses reopen after the coronavirus closures this year, including taking care of the legal liability issue to make businesses feel more secure about opening their doors, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said Thursday.
"I don't think it's too soon," Cohn, who was President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser from 2017 to 2019, told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo, adding that moves have been happening in a "rational" way, but more needs to be done.
"I think more businesses would open if they didn't think they had the threat of legal action or a liability action if someone got sick coming to work."
Cohn earlier this week detailed his path for the economy to reopen, writing in an opinion piece for The Washington Post that lawmakers must take further action that will sustain an economy, rather than relying only on the relief measures passed early such as extra $600 per week unemployment benefits.
He also called for incentives to get people to return to work, as well as a sales tax holiday to spark retail.
The unemployment bonus benefits were the right answer at first, he said, but they have created problems for employers to get their workers back on the job.
"We must be bold," he said Thursday. "Just as the Great Depression spurred programs to develop nationwide infrastructure, we, too, should put Americans back to work building next-generation infrastructure from high-speed rail to upgraded telecommunications networks."
Cohn also commented, reopening the economy state by state was the vital move to avoid increased COVID-19 cases, and that "experiment" must continue.
Cohn's comments come as the majority of U.S. states begin to ease stay-at-home guidelines and reopen their economies. He said the state-by-state approach was necessary to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
"We can't have that big bang because that would put our overall economy at risk," Cohn said.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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