Dimon, on a call with analysts, said the world’s reopening will have to occur in phases.
Many workers have been asked to work from home, and even more have been furloughed as the coronavirus pandemic necessitated a shutdown of normal life activities.
Dimon said the reopening likely would be slower than some initially thought, not occurring in May for the most part, which was the prediction of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Instead, he said things might start inching toward recovery in “June, July, August, something like that.”
JPMorgan is joined by fellow banks and retailers, automakers and other entities in strategically pondering how the country could eventually get back on track. Dimon said it is faulty to think of the pandemic’s course as “binary” — in which the world could reopen after tests expand and the curve is flattened. After all, he noted, there are still people at work now.
Dimon said his hope is that the capacity in hospitals will improve by the time people start going back to work so that any American who gets sick can have the best medical service possible.
He said the reawakening of the country would be piecemeal, done individually based on what needs to reopen and when, and also following the professional advice from medical experts. He added that there needed to be considerations beyond the economy, too, for adverse effects of the shutdown, such as mental health, domestic abuse, substance abuse and other things that need to be addressed going forward.
Several states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and California, have begun pondering reopening plans, according to their governors. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has cautioned them not to relax social distancing measures too quickly even with the worst of the virus thought to be over. Nobody, he said in a recent press briefing, has all the answers as to how to move forward.