Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Webinar with Ron Johnson

Below are notes from the webinar hosted by WMC with guest Ron Johnson. 

  • WMC put out a call for businesses that can produce hand sanitizer and N-95 masks.
    • Multiple companies are now producing hand sanitizer, one company is producing masks, still asking for many more.
  • The federal government intends to pay for multiple versions of vaccines as they are released and will do everything to get vaccines to market as quickly as possible. This spending will be astronomical.
    • Several treatments/therapies have been potentially and partially effective, i.e. malaria drugs and  SARS antibodies
    • Frontline healthcare workers would receive these therapies first.
  • Liquidity and funding for businesses is a major focus/key for the future.
  • 3rd bill passing in the next few days.
    • Includes support for state unemployment funds
    • The solution is not to force employers to keep people employed by taking out a loan
    • Johnson is not very pleased with what we have done so far
  • Long-term effects unknown
  • Can NOT shut down the economy
  • Can’t pass laws that play into fear
  • Essential businesses need to stay open, and as many other businesses as possible within gathering limitations.
  • If possible, STAY OPEN!!!
  • Bills need to be careful not to incentivize people to stop working.
  • Civic Courage! Johnson wants people to stay strong, continue to work hard and do everything in their power to help one another and keep business rolling, not use this as an excuse to collapse or give up.
  • Change the focus from who is essential to who is Non-Essential
  • Base this off the risk of spreading the disease
  • Change people’s perception
  • Completely opposed to writing checks to everyone
    • The problem is supply-side, NOT demand side. Johnson made the point that people don’t need the money/can’t spend the money if they have nowhere to go. More important to focus on the businesses reopening after the chaos.
  • Money much better allocated to therapies, vaccines, and businesses to be able to reopen
  • Manufacturing, if possible, please shift to produce essential supplies if possible
  • Separate leadership in shifts, don’t allow for one case to take out the entire workforce
  • Only staff who is essential, allow for remote work