The coronavirus crisis can lead to more economic opportunities, according to a memo from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon released on Tuesday.
Dimon said the coronavirus crisis could be an instrument that can help restart an economy that offers opportunities for more people.
The memo, released ahead of JPMorgan Chase‘s annual shareholder meeting, is part of the New York-based lender’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dimon discussed the efforts his company has made to support customers and employees since the crisis started two months ago. He also mentioned employees returning to to work sites.
“It is my fervent hope that we use this crisis as a catalyst to rebuild an economy that creates and sustains opportunity for dramatically more people, especially those who have been left behind for too long,” said the JPMorgan Chase executive regarding how the country can learn from the coronavirus crisis.
“The last few months have laid bare the reality that, even before the pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge,” he added.
Since the coronavirus outbreak spread in the US, 36.5 million Americans have already filed unemployment claims. Moreover, about 40% of households with incomes of less than $40,000 reported a job loss, according to the Federal Reserve.
However, while office workers are able to work from their homes, lower-paid work entails person-to-person interaction, putting these workers at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, low-income communities and people of color are being hit the hardest, exacerbating the health and economic inequities that were already unacceptably pronounced before the virus took over,” Dimon said.
“An inclusive economy – in which there is widespread access to opportunity – is a stronger, more resilient economy,” he added. “This crisis must serve as a wake-up call and a call to action for business and government to think, act and invest for the common good and confront the structural obstacles that have inhibited inclusive economic growth for years.”
Moreover, Dimon said he would soon present his ideas on how the recruitment of employees and reopening of small businesses could help build a more inclusive economy.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump pushes for US reopening. The president said the administration is preparing for the “phase two” of the US response to the coronavirus.
A part of this next move is to break up the White House task force of public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx.
The president acknowledged that US reopening would likely lead to more deaths and sickness.
“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” Trump said. “But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”
During a previous ABC News interview, Trump said shutting down the country was “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
“There’ll be more death,” he said. “The virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal.”
“But it’s been a rough process. There is no question about it,” Trump said. “I think our economy is going to be raging” in 2021.