Coronavirus Could Paralyze Economy Indefinitely, Ex-FDA Chief Warns

  • A former FDA commissioner warned that coronavirus is far more devastating than the public seems to believe.
  • The economic impact of the disease will be lasting and could push the U.S. economy into a lasting depression.
  • The stock market has been resilient, but analysts say it could dip lower once reality sets in.

With coronavirus cases in Europe apparently on a consistent downward trend, the U.S. stock market is rejoicing. But the celebration is most likely premature according to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, whose comments suggest Americans don’t understand the impact coronavirus will have on the economy for years to come.

Coronavirus Will Crush U.S. Economy

Gottlieb compared the fallout from coronavirus to that of other major outbreaks like polio and smallpox. He suggested that even after the pandemic has been contained, the U.S. will be plagued with smaller, localized outbreaks in the year to come.

That, he says, will significantly disrupt the U.S. economy for the foreseeable future. “Marginal” consumers will cut out activities that require unnecessary contact, dealing a lasting blow to many industries.

A certain percentage of the population is going to be more circumspect about crowding into tight spaces indoors. The idea that things are going to snap back, we’re going to forget about this […] that’s not the case, this is going to be with us.

Gottlieb says this change in consumer behavior is unavoidable unless a vaccine is developed— something that could take roughly two years. He cautioned that lifting lockdown measures won’t instantaneously bring businesses back to life. People are going to be hesitant to mingle for some time.

Depression May Be Looming

Investors may be ignoring the long-term threat that COVID-19 presents to the U.S. economy. | Source: Kena Betancur / AFP

Gottlieb’s prediction adds fuel to Jim Cramer’s suggestion that the U.S. economy could be “on the verge of a depression.”

Following Friday’s dismal…

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