IMF / COVID-19 US RESPONSE

27-Mar-2020 00:04:59
The IMF supports fiscal and monetary action taken so far by the US government to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters in a virtual news conference in Washington DC. (IMF)
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STORY: IMF / US COVID-19
TRT: 04:59
SOURCE: IMF
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 JANUARY 2020, WASHINGTON, DC
SHOTLIST
RECENT, WASHINGTON, DC

1. Wide shot, exterior, IMF

27 JANUARY 2020, WASHINGTON, DC

2. Wide shot, virtual news conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“As Chairman Powell said, actually I think it was yesterday, the US is in recession, as is the rest of the advanced rest of the advanced economies world. And in a big chunk of developed and emerging markets in developing economies. How severe? We are working now on our projections for 2020. In a short while prior to the Spring Meetings, we will come up with these projections. And at that time, we will have assessed more thoroughly the data that is now coming on the impact of containment on the economy. Let me just stress that while containment is the main reason for the economy to stand still and get into a recession.”
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“Containment is very necessary to come out of this period and step into recovery. Until the virus is not contained, it would be very difficult to go to the lives we love.”
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“And in that context that you're asking on unemployment and other and other factors. We are assessing very carefully any now projections. We will be able to answer this question, as you would appreciate. We are seeing the early impact of this containment measure in the United States and elsewhere. And we are working towards a more deliberate assessment. We don't want to rush with our numbers. It is very important to be prudent in taking the, If I can use a health terminology, taking the temperature of the economy. On the 2 trillion package; very welcome step by the US for two reasons. One, because it is necessary to cushion the world's largest economy against an abrupt drop of economic activities.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“It is very important for the American people. It is also important for the rest of the world, given the significance of the United States. Second, very welcome because it is well-targeted. First, beef up the capacity of the health system. A hundred and seventeen billion dollars for hospitals. Second, helping workers and their families to be protected against a sudden loss of income so they can meet their daily needs. Third, protecting firms, large companies and SME's - small and medium sized companies. Protecting them is so critical. They stay afloat. Then when recovery comes, momentum can be injected very quickly.”
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“And this is being done with an eye to actually incentivize companies to keep their workers on the payroll. There they would benefit if they do so. Finally, the measures that are there to protect the financial system. Would that be sufficient? We only can answer this question when we know how long it takes to contain the pandemic.”

RECENT, WASHINGTON, DC

8. Various shots, street scenes of shuttered businesses
STORYLINE
The IMF supports fiscal and monetary action taken so far by the US government to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters in a virtual news conference today (27 Mar) in Washington DC.

Georgieva was asked if the US is already in a recession, and how long it may stay there.

She said, “as Chairman Powell said, actually, I think it was yesterday. The U.S. is in recession, as is the rest of the advanced rest of the advanced economies world. And in a big chunk of developed and emerging markets in developing economies. How severe? We are working now on our projections for 2020. In a short while prior to the Spring Meetings, we will come up with these projections. And at that time, we will have assessed more thoroughly the data that is now coming on the impact of containment on the economy. Let me just stress that while containment is the main reason for the economy to stand still and get into a recession.”

She was also asked about how long shelter in place policies should remain and their impact on the economy.

Georgieva said, “containment is very necessary to come out of this period and step into recovery. Until the virus is not contained, it would be very difficult to go to the lives we love.”

She added, “and in that context that you're asking on unemployment and other and other factors. We are assessing very carefully any now projections. We will be able to answer this question, as you would appreciate. We are seeing the early impact of this containment measure in the United States and elsewhere. And we are working towards a more deliberate assessment. We don't want to rush with our numbers. It is very important to be prudent in taking the, if I can use a health terminology, taking the temperature of the economy.”.

On the two trillion dollar package, Georgieva said it was a “very welcome step by the US for two reasons. One, because it is absolutely necessary to cushion the world's largest economy against an abrupt drop of economic activities.”

The Managing Director said, “it is very important for the American people. It is also important for the rest of the world, given the significance of the United States. Second, very welcome because it is well-targeted. First, beef up the capacity of the health system. A hundred and seventeen billion dollars for hospitals. Second, helping workers and their families to be protected against a sudden loss of income so they can meet their daily needs. Third, protecting firms, large companies and SME's - small and medium sized companies. Protecting them is so critical. They stay afloat. Then when recovery comes, momentum can be injected very quickly.”

She said, “this is being done with an eye to actually incentivize companies to keep their workers on the payroll. There they would benefit if they do so. Finally, the measures that are there to protect the financial system.”

Georgieva concluded by saying, “would that be sufficient? We only can answer this question when we know how long it takes to contain the pandemic.”
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