Dr. Ben Carson: America's economy can reopen 'imminently' by following coronavirus health guidelines, data

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America can continue to reopen by placing an emphasis on emerging health data and closely examining how early states are performing, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson asserted Saturday.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends Weekend" with host Pete Hegseth, Carson said that in talking about the current coronavirus-spurred economic crisis, it is important to note that the shutdown -- which President Trump told reporters was "artificial" on Friday --  was a necessary move made after careful assessment by the Trump administration.

Additionally, this time the crash was on the heels of an "extraordinarily strong economy" making it a "different situation altogether" than the financial crisis of 2008.

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"In 2008, it was just the opposite. We had a very weak economy," he explained. "So, this is a different situation altogether. And, it's very important that we not allow that economic infrastructure to be destroyed so that we can rapidly get back on that train again."

Since the beginning of the shutdown, more than 20 million Americans have lost their jobs and unemployment levels hit a record high at 14.7 percent.

Additionally, protests have broken out across the nation, with the hope that state governments will end or loosen their restrictions.

Ignoring social distancing and mandates to wear masks for other face coverings, protesters attend an "Open Texas" rally at the Texas State Capitol, Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas is under stay-at-home orders except for essential workers and businesses. 

Ignoring social distancing and mandates to wear masks for other face coverings, protesters attend an "Open Texas" rally at the Texas State Capitol, Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas is under stay-at-home orders except for essential workers and businesses.  (AP)

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"So, what we want to do is make sure that we preserve particularly the small businesses," Carson instructed. "The small businesses are the backbone of the economy of this country. They employ the vast majority of Americans. And, the longer, you know, we stay shuttered, the more of those small businesses will die."

"So, [at] the forefront of what we're thinking about is how do we make sure that we preserve the viability of those small businesses and a lot of that has to do with using our brains intelligently," he added. "Not allowing this virus to completely dominate us but, in fact, how do we control it and live with it until we have the ability to completely eliminate it? If we wait until it's all gone before we come out, our economy will be gone also."

"How can you incentivize governors to allow people to responsibly reopen who are ready to do so?" asked Hegseth.

"Well, I think what we have to do is emphasize data and evidence," Carson replied. "You know, we have enough places that are opening under various circumstances that we can look at what has happened there -- particularly when people are wise enough to follow the guidelines."

Carson told Hegseth that by following CDC guidelines and maintaining safety protocol, it would be "imminently possible to go back to work" for those who are not very vulnerable.

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"But, when that's the case, there's absolutely no reason that we can't go back and governors like anybody else ought to be able to understand data when it's presented," he remarked.

"Let me say: we have an enormous team. Virtually all the agencies and the United States government are involved. Everyone's contributing tremendously to this and this is America and we're going to get it done," Carson concluded.