Fed’s Kashkari advocates six-week economic lockdown to defeat the coronavirus


Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, in an interview on February 17, 2016.

David Orrell | CNBC 

The U.S. economy needs an even more stringent shutdown than the last time if it’s going to defeat the coronavirus, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said.

In a Friday New York Times op-ed he authored with Michael T. Osterholm, a professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Kashkari argues that the government should issue a shelter-in-place order “for everyone but the truly essential workers” for up to six weeks.

March’s lockdown, issued as the coronavirus became a pandemic, was not sufficiently stringent and has led to the U.S. lagging other stricter nations when it has come to containing Covid-19, they said. The result “could make what we have experienced so far seem like just a warm-up to a greater catastrophe.”

“To be effective, the lockdown has to be as comprehensive and strict as possible,” Kashkari and Osterholm wrote. “If we aren’t willing to…

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