Omicron Threat Seen ‘as Short Term’ By Business Leaders: Commerce Secretary
Jan 16, 2022
Omicron, the most recent coronavirus strain, has had a significant impact on some areas of the economy, resulting in workforce shortages and child care concerns, as well as reawakening some Americans' fear of leaving home again.
However, in a new interview, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo shared encouraging news from recent conversations with business representatives.
"They see the Omicron crisis as short-term," Raimondo said during an interview in Washington, DC, for a new episode of Influencers with Andy Serwer. "People are starting to note, 'It seems as if we are nearing a peak and will begin to go down the other side of the curve.'"
However, she continued: "How long that will take is anyone's estimate."
Contacts of The Commerce Secretary aren't alone in assessing the situation this way: Omar Aguilar, CEO and CIO of Schwab Asset Management, similarly forecasts lessening omicron consequences on the business sector. "We're likely to have a really strong and powerful earnings period," he stated, adding that the strain will have an effect on income releases.
Optimistic perspectivesAt least in certain parts of the United States, particularly the Northeast, public health professionals tend to believe that the Omicron's impacts will be transient. Cases are beginning to decline in locations such as New York and Chicago, where the strain had an early rise. Nonetheless, hospitalization levels continue to reach all-time highs in many areas, putting a burden on medical services.
"We are on the verge of a crisis in the healthcare system," Dr. Andre Campbell, a professor and ICU physician in San Francisco, stated on Friday. He also added that he believes things will improve soon.
There are indications from throughout the globe that the COVID-19 outbreak caused by Omicron has begun to subside. South African health authorities recently reported that one of the first regions to detect Omicron has officially emerged from the fourth wave.
Returning to the United States, Raimondo notes that workforce shortages are "improving but remain a serious concern," adding that newly revised instructions requiring quarantine for five days rather than ten could be helpful.
Raimondo has an impressive list of corporate contacts dating back to her earlier experience as a venture investor and her term as governor of Rhode Island when she earned a reputation for being "very high touch."
As Commerce Secretary, she regularly contacts corporate executives and cites a broad feeling of confidence – as long as yet another COVID-19 form does not emerge.