Economics expert says wearing face mask is an economic health issue, not just public health issue

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 17:42:27-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - An increase in COVID-19 cases around the country could have an impact on our region, according to News 3 economic expert Bob Mcnab.

A recent spike in cases in different areas of the United States could have a direct impact on our region, said Mcnab, the Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis & Policy at Old Dominion University.

“If other states have to shut down, if they have to reimpose stay at home orders, that’s going to collapse consumer demand in those states, and given that we have a major port here and we produce goods and services that are exported outside of Virginia, that's definitely going to impact how well we recover over time,” Mcnab said.

“If there continue to be increases of cases in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas, that’s really concerning for Virginia because we're starting to see consumer spending dip in those states,” said Mcnab.

CBS reports new virus cases are rising in 40 states as U.S. death toll surpasses 130,000 and over 2.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States.

Mcnab said Virginia businesses could have a problem selling products in other states if they shut down or reduce activity, which could cause another wave of disruption.

He said fast food chains locally could face disruptions if they get agricultural products from other states along with meat processing plants.

Health experts say we need to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It's really not a political question anymore. It's an economic question. If you want to have your kids back in school, if you want to be able to go back to work, if you want to enjoy life that looks more normal than it is now,” said Mcnab. “Then you should be strongly supportive of universal masking as a preventative measure.”

The CDC said the best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus is to social distance and wear a mask.

“If we all mask, the economy would get healthier. It's not just a public health issue, it's an economic health issue,” said Mcnab.

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