Peterson Foundation Statement on Fiscal Response to the Coronavirus

Mar 23, 2020

NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today on the fiscal policy response to the coronavirus pandemic:

“The coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented national emergency, and we need to respond aggressively to address both the public health crisis and the economic risk.

“Lawmakers should pass significant fiscal stimulus that is focused on the specific aspects of this crisis, and these critical efforts should not be diluted or delayed by unrelated elements. Given the many unique characteristics of this biological outbreak, and the disparity of its effects across sectors and individuals, the measures should be highly targeted in order to achieve the greatest impact. By acting quickly and strategically, we can improve the response and reduce suffering, especially among vulnerable populations.

“The country would be in a much better position right now if our debt and deficits weren’t already at such high levels, but our current fiscal outlook should not impede the response to this emergency.

“As we take these steps, we must acknowledge that the next generation should not have to continuously bear the burden of our urgent, current funding needs and lack of concern for the future. In the aftermath of this crisis, we will need to improve America’s strength and preparedness on many levels.”

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