This is why we must work now on the conditions under which our economy will operate when America returns to work, and ensure that the financial support that our families and small businesses will need is fully in place.
As long as there is a significant risk that the virus will start to spread again, we will have to do certain things differently. And the federal government should lead efforts to understand this.
If I were president, I would bring together the best experts from the private sector, industry by industry, to come up with new ideas on how to operate more safely. Offices and factories may need to space workers and find other solutions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus at work. Restaurants may need new arrangements, with more distant dinners.
From interviews with some industry leaders, I know many are already working on these issues. Trump needs to speed up this thinking and make sure it is available to all businesses – including small businesses, not just the largest businesses.
Likewise, I would ask the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in collaboration with organized groups of workers and employees, to determine what protections workers need at work during this period.
Providing protective gear for our healthcare workers and emergency medical workers is the top priority – and we are still lagging behind. But once that need is met, I would ask the experts to determine which delivery people, servers, clerks and so many other professionals need to be safe. And I would like to focus like a laser on racial disparities in the cases of Covid-19.
Safe and effective treatment can help manage the risk of coronavirus. But of course, the only complete solution is to find a vaccine to put an end to the threat it represents. Scientists are making great strides in this area, but discovering and testing a vaccine is only the first step: making sufficient doses and distributing it to reach everyone is a huge challenge. The Trump administration should already be accountable to the American people for its efforts.