Coronavirus Commission Outlines 12 Urgent Recommendations to Avoid an Economic Depression

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Coronavirus Commission Outlines 12 Urgent Recommendations to Avoid an Economic Depression

May 14, 2020 6 min read

WASHINGTON—Policymakers’ decisions today will determine whether the United States has to contend with an economic depression regardless of whether COVID-19 is suppressed in the next several months or year, write Paul Winfree and Charmaine Yoest, executive directors of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission.

There are several steps that government leaders can take now to avert an economic depression. As policymakers at every level of government weigh how to safely get Americans to work and mitigate economic damage, Winfree and Yoest identify the 12 most critical actions. (Read their full report at The Daily Signal.)

1. Allow businesses in counties with low incidence of COVID-19 to reopen

2. Use stay-at-home orders sparingly and only where necessary

3. Establish a national portal with accessible data on the spread of the coronavirus as well as the modeling used to support decisions made by governments at all levels

4. Immediately allow all medical offices to reopen

5. Review all regulations that have been waived or modified in response to COVID-19 and consider permanent changes

6. Expand liability protections with a safe harbor for businesses and workers that follow guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in good faith

7. Liberalize future Paycheck Protection Program loans to broaden eligible expenditures, extend the relevant period, and limit the loans to businesses that were hit hard

8. Reduce small-business tax liability with a “physical presence” standard

9. Make legislative and regulatory changes to expand access to capital for small businesses

10. Incentivize research and development and infrastructure investments with permanent full expensing

11. Honor and enforce contractual insurance obligations

12. Eliminate all tariffs imposed since 2018

These 12 actions are drawn from the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission’s 179 recommendations, which provide an all-of-society approach to saving both lives and livelihoods.

If broad-based lockdown policies are continued much longer, the United States faces the real prospect of a depression with economic suffering and social and public health effects that could last for years.

The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission recommends that governors work closely with counties and mayors to expeditiously reopen America on a county-level or zip code-level basis. To assist state and local leaders, The Heritage Foundation built an interactive map tracking the increase or decrease of coronavirus cases over the past 14 days in every American county.

The commission’s next meeting and release of recommendations will take place May 19. Recommendations for phases one through four of the commission’s five-phase plan can be found here.

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview, contact Gloria Taylor at press@coronaviruscommission.com

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