COVID-19

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson: “The impact to people’s lives will be profound.”

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Mar 26, 2020
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Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson announced thousands of employees would be furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
COVID-19

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson: “The impact to people’s lives will be profound.”

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Mar 26, 2020
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson announced thousands of employees would be furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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The hotel industry has been decimated by the novel coronavirus pandemic, and Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson has been on the front lines. The COVID-19 pandemic is said to have hurt Marriott International’s business worse than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined.

In an emotional video address released last week, the CEO of the world’s largest hotel company announced that tens of thousands of corporate employees would be furloughed and that he would not take a salary for the rest of the year.

“The impact to people’s lives will be profound,” Sorenson said in an interview with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal. “We’ve got to find a way to get through this together. We will, ultimately.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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