An economist who previously advised Donald Trump says the US is hurtling towards a Great Depression if the economy isn’t revived by next month.
Stephen Moore said “real decisions” need to be made because of the “calamity” caused by strict social distancing measures across the US.
He said: “At some point soon, we’re going to have to make some real decisions about what kind of a calamity we are causing through the lock-down of our economy.
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“I’m not saying we should be inattentive to the public health concern … but at some point, we have to worry about what we’re doing to our society, and what kind of economy we’re going to have after this is all over.”
Mr Moore, who has previously advised Mr Trump on the economy, told radio host John Catsimatidis: “If we go much past May 1, we are facing a potential Great Depression scenario.”
Markets fell on Friday after a shocking March jobs report that showed 701,000 jobs were lost last month.
Mr Moore predicted that the unemployment rate could hit 23 per cent as the crisis grows.
The rate hit almost 25 per cent in 1933 during the Great Depression.
The message dovetails with Mr Trump’s urgency during a briefing on Saturday to get the economy moving again.
Referring to the stay-at-home orders issued by governors across the US, he said: “You know, at a certain point, you’ll lose more people this way through all of the problems caused, than you will with what we’re doing right now.
“What we’re doing right now, I think is going to be very successful, but you know what? I don’t know. We have a big decision to make at a certain point. OK? We have a big decision to make. We went this extra period of time, but I said it from the beginning, the cure cannot be worse than the problem itself.
“We have to open our country again. We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months.”