Sethi: ‘Human lives will always be more important than dollars’

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi speaks at a campaign event in Clarksville on Feb. 4, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi is outlining his plan to for economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sethi, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said while it’s important to get Americans back to worth, “human lives will always be more important than dollars.”

“Our economy will not bounce back if portions of the workforce are seriously ill or do not survive,” he said.

Here’s the full release from the Sethi campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn – Conservative outsider and Republican candidate for Senate, Dr. Manny Sethi released his plan to get America back to work today. Dr. Manny, founder of a public health advocacy nonprofit in Tennessee, believes our country can get people back to work and protect the health of Americans at the same time, but it must be done in a thoughtful and deliberate way.

We saw unemployment numbers reach record numbers this morning. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, much of the American economy has been shut down, hurting American workers, businesses, and families in a way we haven’t seen before.

This morning 3.28 million new claims were announced, which is already higher than any past economic crisis, including the 2008 market collapse and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Previously, the highest number of jobless claims was 695,000 in 1982.

While economic revitalization is imperative, human lives will always be more important than dollars. On Thursday, Dr. Manny released the following statement and plan:

“Tennessee is still dealing with this issue, but at some point America cannot sustain a long, drawn-out shutdown. We must start working immediately on ways to get our citizens back to work and our economy moving. Our economy will not bounce back if portions of the workforce are seriously ill or do not survive. In the operating room, when things are moving fast, I’ve learned we have to slow down and think through the best way forward, instead of overreacting.

“I would recommend tackling this region by region, state by state, community  by community. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the whole country. Some communities and states will recover from this virus breakout sooner than others. As the threat lessens, these areas need to start lifting restrictive mandates and get their economy back to work.”

Dr. Manny’s proposal to get America back-to-work entails:

  • Federal authorities should work with states to identify when it is safe for individual communities to start lifting mandates once the health threat decreases in their respective areas.
    U.S. health officials should also work with state governments to assess quarantine and containment strategies based on evolving evidence.
  • Companies should be encouraged to continue to utilize telecommuting as much as possible. This will slow the rate of return back to the public workplace. Tax credits and other incentives should be provided to incentivize companies to put the health and safety of employees first, without losing their business.
  • Utilize the Defense Production Act, if needed, to produce medical equipment such masks, gowns, and ventilators. Pass legislation that gives American companies incentives to produce such equipment in the United States.
  • Immediately begin to shift production of Chinese and foreign-made pharmaceuticals to the United States. This is a national security issue, and there is an immediate need for many important drugs to be produced here, and a need to immediately phase-in production of many others.
  • Continue to implement international travel bans and strongly caution Americans to avoid non-essential domestic travel until national health officials approve.

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