The US coronavirus crisis is just beginning. However, according to some executives, it is not too early for some Americans to violate social distancing and isolation policies and return to work.
Dick Kovacevich, former CEO and Chairman of Wells Fargo, Bloomberg News said that healthy workers under the age of 55 should go back to work in April if the outbreak is controlled, saying that "some could even die" with his plan.
"We will gradually bring these people back and see what happens. Some of them get sick, others can even die, I don't know," said Kovacevich, a current manager at Cisco and Cargill. "Do you want to suffer more economically or take a risk of getting flu-like symptoms and experience? Do you want to take an economic or health risk? You can choose."
President Donald Trump said he plans to "reopen" the economy by April 12, even though the deaths from COVID-19 in the US continue to increase because he wants to see "packed churches across our country" at Easter.
"Wouldn't it be great if all the churches were full? You know that the churches are essentially not allowed to have a large church there," Trump said on Tuesday. "They will have packed churches all over the country. I think it would be a good time."
Kovacevich is not the only former bank director to push for economic activity despite the risk of increased infections and deaths. Lloyd Blankfein, the former head of Goldman Sachs "in a gap year", according to his Twitter biography, called on Sunday for "those at lower risk for the disease to return to work."
"The destruction of the economy, jobs and morals is also a health problem – and beyond." he wrote on twitter. "Get those at lower risk for the disease back to work within a few weeks."
A waiter in a restaurant in Olive Garden, 63-year-old Jim Conway, was not interested in following the multimillionaire's advice. Conway, who was fired from his Pennsylvania office two weeks ago, "is in no hurry to return in the middle of an epidemic." he told Bloomberg News. "As a server, you are in contact with many different people and are at higher risk of infection. I am glad that they closed when they closed."
"They never really focused on our interests," added Conway, who is waiting for the federal government's unemployment benefits. "And now would be a strange time to start."
Dallas Mavericks owner and venture capitalist Mark Cuban disagreed with Kovacevich and Blankfein and said their advice should be ignored.
"Ignore anything someone like me could say," he wrote in an email to Bloomberg News. "Life is at stake."