Leading Economist Joins TN Business Owners, Health Experts Praise the Stay at Home Order’s Progress in Protecting Lives - and the Economy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Economist, Dr. Heather Boushey, and Tennessee small business owner, Chris Cobb, discussed with Tennessee business owners and doctors about the economic impact of hospital infrastructure becoming over-run, and the economic benefit of mitigating COVID-19 spread through Governor Lee's Stay at Home order. They argued that the damage to the economy that would come from unmitigated COVID-19 spread is far greater.

Dr. Boushey reinforces the case that the Stay at Home order is mitigating hospital strain and reducing spikes in cases and deaths is helping protect the economy in the long run vs. the economic consequences of failing to minimize the spread by allowing the stay at home order to end too soon or rushing back before COVID-19 is under control.

"We do need to be concerned about falling into a deep and protracted recession but let me just stress that the best thing we can do to prevent that is to get the healthcare crisis under control. Until we do that we will not be able to get the economy back up and running fully and we need to make sure that we keep people, both consumers and producers workers and places of business safe," said Dr. Boushey.

"If you open up too quickly, while we still have this pandemic going on, what you are going to start seeing is hotspots. And those are going to be starting likely in places of business."

Chris Cobb, Small business owner of Exit/In, Nashville decided to close his store a day before the stay at home order was put in place to protect the lives of his employees. "There's a lot of speculation about the future and getting opened. We will follow suit as we did choosing to close, and we will only reopen when we know that it can be done safely. We are going to follow the advice of medical leaders to determine whether or not it is safe for people to congregate in our facilities," Cobbs said.

"The reality is that we cannot take shortcuts. We need to start with the first principle problem, which is that we are in the midst of a pandemic crisis with a disease that we cannot see that can be transmitted by people that may not know that they have it," Dr. Boushey Said. "We need policymakers to focus their attention on getting tests and protective gear and working on a vaccine and do what we can on the economics side in the interim."