COVID-19

A public health strategy to reopen the economy

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 6, 2020
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Medical professionals work at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site run by George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
COVID-19

A public health strategy to reopen the economy

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 6, 2020
Medical professionals work at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site run by George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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With more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. everyday, what exactly will it take to reopen the economy?

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute provides a roadmap for navigating the pandemic, starting with a major increase in resources for hospital and public health operations. Co-author Dr. Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at John Hopkins University, spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about the public health standards that must be in place before we can lift social distancing.

“Getting people back to work to bring a paycheck home and earn a living is also very important to health and well-being; it’s not just about the virus,” Rivers said. “But then again, this is a pandemic that we’ve never seen before in modern times. So we do need to lead with public health.”

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. How are Americans reacting?

Johns Hopkins University reports the seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday  — a record — eclipsing the previous record hit in late July during the second, summer wave of infection. A funny thing is happening with consumers though: Even as COVID-19 cases rise, Americans don’t appear to be shying away from stepping indoors to shop or eat or exercise. Morning Consult asked consumers how comfortable they feel going out to eat, to the shopping mall or on a vacation. And their willingness has been rising. Surveys find consumers’ attitudes vary by age and income, and by political affiliation, said Chris Jackson, who heads up polling at Ipsos.

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

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