Trump's plan to reopen the economy by Easter could cause more damage in the long run, according to LinkedIn's top US economist
- President Trump said on Tuesday that he wanted to ease coronavirus restrictions and reopen the US economy by Easter.
- That timeline goes against the advice of top public health experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who are concerned that easing social distancing too soon could exacerbate the pandemic.
- Trump's plan could also be self-defeating by harming the economy even more in the long run, according to Linkedin's top US economist, Guy Berger.
- "There's no economy without people, so getting them healthy is the way to get the economy off the ground," LinkedIn Economist Guy Berger said.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions to get the economy "opened up and just raring to go by Easter," on April 12, even as his top experts say it could take months for life to go back to normal.
However, framing America's response as a direct trade-off between the health of its people and the health of its economy could ultimately harm both, according to LinkedIn principal economist Guy Berger.
"There's no economy without people, so getting them healthy is the way to get the economy off the ground," Berger told Business Insider.
"That's why the public health measures are so important and why they're essential, even though they're hard in the short run, that's the only way to really end up rebooting the economy," he said.
Easing lockdowns and social distancing measures too early, while the virus is still spreading rapidly, could ultimately cause more people to get sick, forcing them out of the workforce and causing an even more negative impact on the economy.
Instead, Berger suggested that policymakers should approach economic relief efforts like the recently passed stimulus bill with a longer-term lens.
"We actually shouldn't think of this is as a stimulus to revive the economy," Berger said. "It's to keep the economy ready to revive when we can finally start loosening these entirely necessary public health measures and start letting people get back to work."
Public health experts have warned that in order to "flatten the curve," or slow the rate of infection in the US, social distancing measures will need to be in place for several more weeks, at minimum.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the top experts in the Trump administration, has pushed back on the president's Easter goal on multiple occasions this week, saying any deadline needs to be "flexible."
"I cannot see that all of a sudden, next week or 2 weeks from now, it's going to be over," Fauci said in an interview on the "Today" show. "I don't think there's a chance of that." He doubled down Friday, telling CNN that as the number of cases surges, "that's not time to pull back."
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