Longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak questioned how talk show hosts and members of the media– working remotely– are telling those in financial trouble to stay home during thecoronaviruspandemic, saying on Sunday, “it’s okay to question the premise.”
“When a disc jockey or a talk show host or a journalist who is being paid to work from his or her home tells people who can’t work, pay bills or pay their rent or mortgage to ‘Stay home and be careful because we’re all in this together,’ it’s okay to question the premise,” he wrote on Twitter.
His tweet comes as protests have broken out across the country urging state governments to reopen their economies with millions of Americans are currently out of work.
Those demonstrators, frustrated by certain stay-at-home orders, have swept many state capitals, including Ohio, North Carolina and Michigan. Other protests have broken out in New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C.
On Sunday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the nation’s unemployment rate could soar to 25 percent during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 36 million people in the U.S. have lost their jobs due to the virus.
Powell said that people hurt most from the coronavirus are those from lower-income households, adding they are likely in a position where they can least afford being out of work.
“We’re actually releasing a report tomorrow that shows that, of the people who were working in February who were making less than $40,000 per year, almost 40 percent have lost their jobs in the last month or so. Extraordinary statistic,” he said. “So that’s who’s really bearing the brunt of this.”
Even with protests sweeping the country, Powell believes that opening the economy won’t have a great impact unless people are confident to go out, which likely won’t happen until a vaccine is developed.
It’s also important to have enough testing when states reopen to prevent a second wave. Opening businesses too early could cause the economy to be impacted for even longer and lead to more deaths due to the virus.
“I would say though we’re not going to get back to where we were quickly. We won’t get back to where we were by the end of the year. That’s unlikely to happen,” the U.S. central bank chiefsaid. “For the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident. And that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.”
Popular game shows like, “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” are currently taping without studio audiences in response to the ongoing virus outbreak. Both shows are filmed at a studio in Culver City, California.
As of Sunday night, the U.S. has more than 1,486,757 confirmed coronavirus cases, and at least 89,562 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.