Jun 30, 2020 - Economy

The return of coronavirus lockdowns could threaten U.S. economic progress

A bar in Austin, Texas, earlier this week. Photo: Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images

After seeing another record high number of hospitalizations Monday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks to shut down for at least 30 days in a move that followed similar orders from governors in California, Texas and Florida in recent days.

Why it matters: Large swaths of the U.S. economy again are having to shut down in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic, threatening to reverse the economic progress of the past month and worsen the recession.

  • “Our expectation is that our numbers next week will be worse,” Ducey said.

The big picture: It's not just a few states. The virus is spreading so rapidly in the U.S. that Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said Monday this was "really the beginning" of a surge in new cases.

  • “I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, 'Hey, it’s summer. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re over this.' And we are not even beginning to be over this," she said.
  • "There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so.”

The big, big picture: The pandemic also is accelerating around the world, as many countries that reopened their economies see a resurgence in cases, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Monday.

  • “Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up,” Tedros said during a virtual news conference. “We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives, but the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over.” 
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