In his Sunday column, Victor Joecks writes that Gov. Steve Sisolak should not shut down Nevada again. I agree with the premise, but not the reality.
What Mr. Joecks fails to realize is that, with COVID cases skyrocketing in the state, more and more people are not going to venture out and spend money unless it’s absolutely necessary. This leads to more businesses cutting staff and possibly shutting down, which then leads to more unemployment and desperate situations for local residents. You cannot have a healthy economy unless the pandemic is addressed first.
Gov. Sisolak did the right thing back in March to shut down Nevada. The problem was a lack of federal leadership and support in coordinating the quarantine, testing, tracing and medical equipment during that time in all 50 states. That failure falls squarely on the Trump administration, which continues sit by as more than half the country, including Nevada, is on fire with infections.
The only way to truly revive the economy is to completely flatten the virus and to ask for state and federal assistance in continuing to help vulnerable citizens stay afloat financially until the threat is extremely low and the economy is actually back on its feet. Blindly encouraging business as usual is leading to a vicious circle of infections and the inability to stop the spread, which is leading to tragic deaths and a sense of fear and panic among consumers and businesses alike.
If Nevada needs to shut down again, this time in coordination with an emergency federal mandate for the entire country to do the same, then it should be done.