Washington, DC – (April 30, 2020) — New data released by the Department of Labor reveals the number of first-time unemployment claims was 3.84 million last week. During the past six weeks, nearly 30 million Americans have lost their jobs.
“Today’s report is a wake-up call. We are losing nearly 30,000 jobs every hour of every day. The only reason that claims are down slightly the past three weeks is because of the Paycheck Protection Program. We need to accelerate a state-by-state reopening of society, consistent with public safety. Georgia is leading the way, with Governor Kemp beginning the process of reopening communities. This should not be a partisan issue, with governors in both parties – including Colorado Governor Polis, a Democrat – reopening communities. Public health needs to be understood holistically. When unemployment is higher, suicides and drug abuse go up. Calls to sexual assault hotlines have increased 22% during the lockdown. America needs to reopen in May. If we keep delaying, we risk a prolonged depression – all the worse because it will be unnecessary.”
In an op-ed published by The Hill, Mr. Ortiz calls on the private sector, not the government, to take the lead on gradually reopening our society by developing protocols and standard operating procedures to prevent their customers from getting infected. To read his op-ed, click here.