Jul 1, 2020 - Health

Wisconsin senator: U.S. "overreacted" to coronavirus pandemic

Sen. Ron Johnson speaking with Axios' Mike Allen

Screenshot: Axios Events

The country "overreacted" in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Axios' Mike Allen during a virtual event on Wednesday.

What Johnson's saying: "[I]n hindsight, I think we overreacted. We closed too much of our economy down, and I don't think we focused enough on what we needed to do: isolate the sick, quarantine them, protect the vulnerable."

  • "At the same time, elected officials. I'm not overly critical ... they've had to make really tough decisions with imperfect information."
  • "The first assumption we all made is that COVID is nobody's fault. It's basically an act of God. And so the businesses that are suffering ... it's not their fault."

The big picture: Johnson said the government needs to look at ways to recapitalize businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic. He says financial support from the government needs to be as inclusive as possible.

  • "We really need to be taking a look at some program or programs ... to potentially restore capital to viable businesses that can reopen. But those same businesses need to have some kind of game plan."
  • "We need to make sure they have the financial resources to restore the capital so they can reopen."

Watch the event.

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