Economist Stephen Moore predicted Sunday that the coronavirus vaccine effort currently rolling out across the U.S. will be a boon for the 2021 economy.
During an interview with John Catsimatidis on his radio show on WABC 770 AM, Moore said that “the calvary is coming,” when referring to the vaccine. He added that it will set up the economy for a “blockbuster 2021.”
Moore said that the Federal Reserve is estimating between five and six percent economic growth in 2021.
Moore’s comments come as the U.S. has sustained economic blows throughout the pandemic. The Department of Labor reported a seasonally adjusted 885,000 jobless claims in the second week of December.
The number is 23,000 higher than the week before, a sign that recovery may not just be stalling, but reversing.
Health experts have said that if enough of the U.S. population is vaccinated, people can return to some semblance of normalcy.
Health and government officials began the massive inoculation effort this week, administering Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine to at-risk and essential populations.
The effort came just days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued it an emergency use authorization for the companies’ product.
Multiple leaders and lawmakers including Vice President Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have received their first dose of the vaccine.
The vaccinations began as Congress inches closer toward a deal on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, which is expected to include $325 billion for the Small Business Administration. The deal is expected to be attached to a massive spending package that will keep the government funded through the end of the fiscal year.
Moore said the stimulus package will provide “short-term relief,” but emphasized that “the stimulus is the vaccine.”
He hailed Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s multi-pronged vaccine effort, as “the greatest government initiative that I’ve seen in my lifetime.”
“Nobody thought it was possible to do within the year,” Moore said. “And, low and behold… Donald Trump has done it.”
The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Friday, and the government began distributing the company’s product this weekend.
Gen. Gustava Perna, logistics head of Operation Warp Speed, said on Saturday the government is on track to allocate 20 million doses of both vaccines by the end of the year.
John Catsimatidis is an investor for The Hill