WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s plan for reopening the U.S. economy following the novel coronavirus pandemic “makes sense” and is consistent with the advice of health experts, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said in an interview with Fox News Channel on Thursday.
Trump laid out new guidelines on Thursday for U.S. states to emerge from a shutdown in a staggered, three-stage approach meant to revive the U.S. economy.
“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 slowly reopen the economy,” Kashkari said.
“Obviously we want to try to avoid the virus flaring back up again and giving back the gains that we’ve had, and I think a staged approach, looking over the horizon, makes sense.”
The U.S. economy is “not grinding to a halt,” Kashkari said, but “this is the deepest and the quickest shutdown of the economy” on record.
He said he had heard from many small and medium-sized businesses who said they needed grants, not loans. While the Fed is providing loans, the challenge is “really with Congress which has the spending authority,” Kashkari said.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Daniel Wallis)