Step 1: SARS-CoV-2 originates in China.
Step 2: The virus spreads from China to Europe.
Step 3: The virus spreads from Europe to the U. S. and from China to the U. S.
Step 4: Panicky mayors and governors impose lockdowns on their jurisdictions in the hope of slowing the spread of the virus.
Step 5: The volume of business being done by many businesses decreases sharply, partly due to the lockdowns and partly due to people changing their behavior.
Step 6: Disney Co. lays off the 28,000 of its 233,000 employees who work in its two domestic theme parks.
Step 7: U. S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren complains about it. From Bloomberg:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for answers on Wednesday on Disney laying off 28,000 workers while reportedly restoring the salaries of its senior executives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney said last month that it plans to lay off the employees due to the lack of attendance at its parks around the world. Warren, however, noted in a letter to Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek that the company said it would restore the paychecks of executives to pre-COVID-19 levels in August.
“I would like to know whether Disney’s financial practices have impacted the company’s decision to lay off workers and whether your company plans to extend health care or other critical benefits and protections to laid off employees,” the senator wrote.
She added that the company has invested in compensation packages, dividend payments and stock buybacks in recent years for executives and stockholders, “all of which weakened Disney’s financial cushion and ability to retain and pay its front-line workers amid the pandemic.”
Warren asked for information by Oct. 27 on which types of employees will be laid off, how decisions were made on the layoffs, if Disney will provide health care coverage for laid-off employees and the total compensation Disney gave its top executives in 2019 and 2020, among other information.
I think that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Phase II of the economic downturn is now well under way and every business that depends on in-person contact with the public is suffering. A new “stimulus” package will not do much to change the course of events.