Labor Secretary Scalia optimistic about economy resurgence, but warns precautions still needed

Millions of jobs gained, as states seeing rises in coronavirus cases

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia expressed optimism Sunday over an economic resurgence as nearly 5 million jobs were gained in June but warned that people must be smart about dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the growth to continue.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Scalia said there is a reason for optimism, even as most states are seeing rises in case numbers.

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"I believe that we can continue to reopen workplaces safely," Scalia said. He made clear, however, that this is only if people take proper precautions.

Scalia specifically said people need to wear masks and practice social distancing, or economic growth will be more challenging.

The secretary noted that in recent months the U.S. has added 7.5 million jobs during a time frame where some experts predicted that the same number would be lost.

Scalia said there are reasons to believe that growth can continue, including encouraging retail spending numbers and the USMCA trade deal that recently went into effect.

Asked about the possibility of a sharp, V-shaped recovery, Scalia said, "Those are the indications that we see."

At the same time, the secretary recognized that many Americans are still out of work and that the Trump administration will continue to help in areas where assistance is needed. He backed up President Trump's support for a payroll tax cut, saying it would play a significant role in getting people back to work.

When asked if some states reopened their economies too soon or too fast, and if that is why case numbers are spiking, Scalia said higher case numbers were expected, and medical professionals are now better equipped to handle them now than early on in the pandemic.

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Finally, Scalia addressed President Trump's announcement that he would sign an executive order to establish a "National Garden of American Heroes" -- a "vast outdoor park" to feature the statues of the "greatest Americans to ever live."

Among the names listed for inclusion are Scalia's father, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

"It would mean a lot," Scalia said about his father's inclusion, adding that "we need heroes" and that he "certainly was touched to hear my father included on that list."