The U.S. government will have more work to do to stop the economic fallout from the coronavirus after it passes a massive stimulus bill, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday.
“Legislation isn’t enough … We need demand— demand from real people,” the “Mad Money” host said.
The demand from American consumers will return when they are healthy enough to shop, go out to eat and attend large events, Cramer said.
“The problem? That can’t happen until we have enough ventilators and enough testing to cover the whole population,” Cramer said. “The lack of those things and surgical masks are what makes this situation so dangerous. Without them the patient could die and healthcare providers could get sick.”
Cramer said he is confident Congress will “one way or another” be able to come to terms on a coronavirus relief package, even as the economic stimulus bill before the U.S. Senate again failed a key procedural vote Monday.
“Once Congress passes this bailout bill, both businesses and individuals will have some cash. But wouldn’t it be better to have actual customers?” Cramer said.
While the economic relief package may put a short-term stop to the uncertainty and financial pain facing many Americans, the end of the COVID-19 crisis relies on the availability of medical supplies and equipment, Cramer argued.
“It ends when we get all the ventilators we need. It ends when we get gloves and masks and spare ICU beds,” he said. “It ends when we can test everyone who feels sick. It ends when we feel safe going outside again.”
The American people want a “sense of hope” that there will be an end date to the new stay-at-home reality, Cramer said.
“A realistic date would at least give us something to look forward to,” he said. “However, it’s not realistic until the government goes on a war footing and bends over backward to make more ventilators, more masks, and more test stations.”