Jan 29, 2020
President Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday suggested the deadly coronavirus that has sparked fears of a global pandemic could have a bright side, at least for the United States: more jobs.
"Every American's heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus, so I don't want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease," Ross said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business. "But the fact is it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain."
"It's another risk factor that people need to take into account," added Ross. "I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to [the] U.S., probably some to Mexico as well."
"Ah, that's a good point actually," responded Bartiromo.
\u201cSecretary Wilbur Ross says coronavirus will be good for [checks notes] American jobs: "I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America."\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1580388447
The coronavirus has killed at least 170 people in China and infected nearly 8,000 more as the Chinese government and other nations have worked to contain the outbreak with travel bans and restrictions.
Ross' rosy assessment of potential U.S. economic gains from the virus was immediately denounced as grossly callous.
\u201cThese people are so sick and heartless. And just imagine the uproar if a member of any other administration said this.\n\nCommerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says China\u2019s coronavirus \u2018will help\u2019 bring jobs back to U.S. https://t.co/KRXR8v4a7Q\u201d— email@example.com (@firstname.lastname@example.org) 1580392342
"This is the kind of thing you say when you have no soul," tweeted Jonathan Metzl, director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.