May 6, 2020 / 2:31 PM / 21 days ago

Fed's Barkin: Best 'stimulus' would be consistency about reopening protocols

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin poses during a break at a Dallas Fed conference on technology in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The best way to get the economy back on track would be “consistency and unanimity” among state and federal officials about the health protocols needed for businesses to operate safely, Richmond Fed president Thomas Barkin said on Wednesday.

“The biggest stimulus of all would be real clarity and consistency and unanimity among public officials saying that if you do these seven things don’t worry about it you will be safe,” Barkin said in webcast comments to the Howard County Chamber of Commerce in Maryland. “How do I go about with a contact...and come home and tell my family, don’t worry, I have not taken a risk?” Barkin spoke at a time when states are taking disparate approaches to reopening and with no clear national testing or treatment strategy in place for the coronavirus epidemic.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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