Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says United States should get the health crisis under control before restarting the economy.
Asked if it’s better to solve the public health crisis first or rush into reopening the economy to limit the financial damage, Powell quoted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
Fauci told CNN Wednesday: “You don’t make the timeline; the virus makes the timeline.”
“That sounds right to me,” the Fed chief said of Fauci’s comments.
“I think the first order of business will be to get the spread of the virus under control and then resume economic activity,”Powell added, echoing comments made by former Fed chief Ben Bernanke this week.
Economists warned that prematurely lifting the health restrictions would badly backfire.
“That is the prescription for a depression,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNN Business.
Powell said the “sooner we get the spread of the virus under control, people will regain confidence” — and start shopping and going back to work, boosting the economy.