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The co-owner of home improvement retail giant Home Depot leveled a strong rebuke at the media for doing a “wonderful” job scaring the country.
Billionaire Bernie Marcus had praise for some state leaders who managed the coronavirus crisis well in their areas but condemned the media’s performance during an interview on the “Ingraham Angle” on Monday.
(Source: Fox News)
Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked Marcus, who is a member of the White House’s coronavirus reopening task force, how he deals with “the media narratives that are keeping people afraid” to leave their homes even as states begin to ease restrictions.
“I think the media’s done a wonderful job of frightening America,” the 91-year-old retired Home Depot CEO replied.
“The truth of the matter is, what [Florida] Governor Desantis did here and what Governor Kemp did in Georgia is a perfect example of thinking, of understanding that people needed to get back, needed to get out of the house and start businesses again and needed to go to work again,” he added.
“But there are bureaucrats all over the country, and we still have it in the blue states, as you know, that are still closed and God knows when they’ll open. Those people up there, they are struggling and it is desperation time for many of them,” he told Ingraham.
The Fox News host brought up the toll the pandemic has taken on tourist destinations and how they depend on the income for the summer to sustain them for the whole year. Marcus noted the part the vulnerable populations, like those in the older age brackets, have played as they have been at a higher risk for getting infected with the virus.
“My age bracket is really the problem. If we take care of my age bracket, that is 70 or above, I think that we can end a lot of the problems that are out there,” he said.
“People that are 70 or above have to be so careful because you are compromised in many different ways. But we’re only a small portion of the population and we’re closing down everybody, in addition to the school kids. It doesn’t make any sense,” he noted.
He also pointed out that “a lot of these rules are made by plutocrats, bureaucrats, government employees, people who get paid no matter what happens.”
“But the poor guy out there who works for a living who gets paid hourly he’s going to struggle and the money doesn’t come in,’ he argued.
“If a governor decides he wants to close the state, he still gets paid. His family still eats, but the people who work with him, I’m sorry to tell you, I don’t have the same situation. It is pretty sad,” Marcus continued.
He went on to discuss what he saw as flaws in the Paycheck Protection Program designed to help small businesses
“These people, unfortunately, are not being helped too much by the PPP because what’s happened is, number one, there was a delay and number two, employees didn’t come back and 75 percent of the money that came out of this program is for employees, and only 25 percent is to pay the rent,” he said.
‘If you’re a restaurant and you’re running at 25 percent capacity you’re paying full rent you’re paying your utilities, insurance, air conditioning, everything else and nobody is coming and the employees are not there. You don’t need 100 percent of your employees so what we’re trying to do is change the program.” Marcus added.
“They’re not going to survive. And if they don’t survive the economy of this country is not going to survive either,’ he warned.
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