In Interview, Former Wells Fargo CEO Shows Callous Disregard For American Lives
President Donald Trump has developed a new mantra during the coronavirus pandemic: “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
And it seems that former Wells Fargo CEO Dick Kovacevich is entirely on board with the president’s sentiment, even if it means that more people will get sick or die, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
Kovacevich, who ran Wells Fargo until 2007, would like healthy workers under the age of 55 to get back to work next month if the country seems to have the outbreak under control.
“We’ll gradually bring those people back and see what happens. Some of them will get sick, some may even die, I don’t know,” he said. “Do you want to suffer more economically or take some risk that you’ll get flu-like symptoms and a flu-like experience? Do you want to take an economic risk or a health risk? You get to choose.”
While Kovacevich’s remarks likely strike most as callous, he is not the only wealthy American arguing that the economy must be spared further damage.
“The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people,” said billionaire Tom Golisano, founder and chairman of the payroll processor Paychex Inc. “I have a very large concern that if businesses keep going along the way they’re going then so many of them will have to fold.”
But as Bloomberg noted: “Billionaires and other members of the elite have the luxury of social distancing while making money.”
Robert Reich, who served as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, said views like Kovacevich’s are “outrageous.”
“It is absolutely necessary to shut down the economy so that millions of people don’t die,” Reich said. “For the privileged among us to fail to see that and to give the economy precedence over this public health emergency is morally reprehensible.”