The president of the Minnesota Federal Reserve, Neel Kashkari, appeared to back down from his claim that the economy may remain shut down for 18 months during an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
Previously, Kashkari claimed that in the worst case scenario, the COVID-19 pandemic prevents the economy from fully reopening for a year and a half. However, on Thursday, he delivered a more optimistic message when Tucker asked him to assess President Donald Trump’s plan to reopened the economy much sooner.
“When I looked at the president’s plan, it seems consistent with the advice and the feedback that we’ve heard from health experts, that there is a way to reopen the economy slowly,” he said. “I think it’s consistent with what I’ve heard from the experts.”
He also noted that “this is the deepest and quickest shutdown of the economy that we have a record for… the economic effects are profound.” Despite this, he maintains that “it’s not grinding to a halt.”
Kashkari also says that the economic stimulus checks the Trump administration has distributed to the American people do not put the dollar in danger of short term inflation. Instead, he says that the falling costs of goods are more likely to pose an economic threat.
Trump’s triphasic strategy to reinvigorate the economy first calls on employers to commit to remote work to employ as many people as possible. Phase two allows non-essential travel and school to resume and will see the reopening of bars, restaurants, and other public spaces with some social distancing. Phase three will allow all venues to resume operation with “limited” social distancing and “standard” sanitation practices, reports ABC.