The possible destruction of the U.S. economy must be weighed against the diminishing health risks from the coronavirus, real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht told CNBC on Tuesday.
“I actually think we have to reopen the economy. We have to do it ZIP code by ZIP code,” said Sternlicht, whose $60 billion Starwood Capital Group has interests in luxury hotels and malls among its many other businesses. “We have to get going. The cost is too great. The government can’t carry a $23 trillion economy.”
Sternlicht’s call to action comes as more states run by Republican governors are announcing plans to reopen parts of their economies as new daily virus cases in the U.S. continue to slow.
Georgia’s timetable — one of the most aggressive in the nation — would allow gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors to reopen Friday. Elective medical procedures would also resume. By Monday, movie theaters and restaurants could start up again.
“You have to look at the social cost against the…