“Squawk Box” host Andrew Ross Sorkin and CNBC bond captain Rick Santelli had a heated debate on Friday about limiting the corona virus, which reflected back and forth the American division and presidential competition in the pandemic.
Central to the November elections was also a strong disagreement over the closures between Sorkin and Santelli following weaker-than-expected job vacancies in November. The slowest pace of non-farm wage growth since April coincides with a sharp increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across the country, prompting many governors and other local officials to re-apply anti-virus measures. There are now more than 100,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the United States.
Santelli – a veteran business figure and former bond trader who typically reports to the CNBC on the Chicago Board of Commodity – suggested that U.S. policymakers should rethink the balance between public health restrictions, especially for restaurants, by allowing more economic activity. He referred to recent debates involving politicians such as Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom of California, who got hot for attending a friend’s birthday dinner at an elegant restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“That’s why the debate is actually going on, and it should be about why the parking lot of a big box store is full, like at my house. There’s not a single parking space open,” Santelli said. “Why are these people safer than a restaurant with a plexiglass restaurant? I just don’t understand. And I think a million such questions can be asked.”
“I think it’s very sad that when we look at the service sector and all the discussions about job losses, that particular dynamics aren’t studied better, they don’t work better, we don’t do and try to figure out that these service sector employees and employers are safer. return, “Santelli said. “You can’t say that shutting down, which is the easiest answer, is definitely the only answer.”
Sorkin firmly restrained Santelli’s remarks, noting that public health experts widely agree that eating in indoor restaurants, where patrons have to take off their masks to eat and drink, poses a much greater risk of spreading the coronavirus than retail shopping. shop where all customers and employees wear masks.
Sorkin, financial columnist for The New York Times and editor-in-chief of DealBook, said he wanted to remind viewers of the state of the scientific community, and many experts are now proposing targeted restrictions on risky activities such as indoor bars and restaurants. while allowing schools to hold personal lessons, for example.
“The difference between a big-box retailer and a restaurant, or frankly even a church, is so different that it’s incredible,” Sorkin said before being cut off by an angry Santelli who declared, “I don’t agree.”
“You can get your thoughts and me mine,” Santelli argued.
– It’s a science. I’m sorry, ‘Sorkin replied. “It’s science. Wearing a mask is a different story.”
“Five hundred people in Lowe is no safer than 150 people in a 600 restaurant. I can’t believe it. I’m sorry,” Santelli said.
The exchange between Sorkin and Santelli is about nine months after U.S. governors and other local officials first began to impose economic restrictions that they said were aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and relieving pressure on hospitals flooded by patients.
At least 276,406 Americans died in Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The total number of U.S. cases exceeds 14.1 million. Both cases and deaths in the United States account for about one-fifth of the world’s total.
The United States reported a second record day of coronavirus deaths over 2,800 on Thursday, the worst day for new cases: 217,664. The record was a seven-day average of 179,473 new daily cases. the COVID Tracking Project, run by journalists in the Atlantic.
The partisan chasm
Significant parts of the country were divided during the pandemic, largely along parties, with President Donald Trump and Republican-minded voters in favor of less public health restrictions than Democrats. In the spring, Trump repeatedly said he “wanted to reopen” the economy and often took a stand against his own health advisers and scientific findings.
President-elect Joe Biden has vehemently criticized Trump’s response to the pandemic, and it is the touchstone of his campaign. He decided to give up big rallies, sometimes choosing to hold socially distant recovery events, while Trump gave outdoor speeches with supporters sitting side by side.
In the weeks since the news agencies declared the election a winner, Biden has continued to contrast with Trump over the coronavirus. In an interview aired on CNN on Thursday, Biden said he plans to ask all Americans to wear a mask for 100 days to help curb the spread.
Trump, who contracted Covid-19 and rebuilt shortly before the November election, still does not allow Biden to falsely claim voter fraud, a claim even rejected by his own attorney general and the Department of Justice.
While the U.S. economy has improved since the early devastation of April and May, when the most severe business restrictions were in place, millions more Americans remain unemployed. Some industries, such as cars and housing, performed better than expected while the travel and hospitality sector continued to struggle.
Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell, for his part, noted throughout the pandemic that a strong economic recovery is not independent of the U.S. public health situation. “The path to the economy is extremely uncertain and largely depends on our success in holding back the virus,” Powell said. at the end of June.
“Full recovery is unlikely until people are confident that a wide range of activities can surely rejoin,” the chief central banker added in remarks to the House Financial Services Committee at the time. “Progress also depends on political action at all levels of government to provide assistance and support recovery for as long as necessary.”