June 1, 2020
Among the first states to close restaurants and bars and then implement shelter-in-place orders as the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., Colorado was also among the first to reopen. Gov. Jared Polis, Willy Walker’s guest on the latest of Walker & Dunlop’s weekly webcasts, attributed that success to early and decisive action.
“The economic consequences of a pandemic are unescapable,” Polis said during the May 27 webcast. “You can either minimize them by acting early and minimizing the pandemic, or have a much more severe economic event” that would occur, if political leadership swept the pandemic risk under the carpet and there were mass casualties. “A shorter, targeted intervention results in less economic disruption.”
From the decision to shut down the state to the current process of gradually reopening, Polis has taken a “data-driven” approach to controlling the spread of the virus and inspiring public confidence. “We wouldn’t have been able to reopen our stores on May 1 if we hadn’t gotten the virus down to a level where people weren’t just shivering in their homes with fear,” he said.
It’s also about the safety guidelines that have been devised to guide the reopening. Polis said his team had to “reboot” what stores and restaurants look like from a layout perspective, in order to inspire customer confidence and minimize the chance of outbreaks.
The governor, who scored spectacular early success with online businesses before turning to politics, also provided the May 27 webcast audience with insights into what to expect as Colorado colleges and universities prepare for the fall semester—and what next winter’s ski season may look like. Click here to access the complete webcast.
Pictured: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.
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