Trump Praises JP Morgan Chase for Telling Workers to Return to Office

September 11, 2020 Updated: September 11, 2020

President Donald Trump praised investment bank JPMorgan Chase for urging its employees to return to the office from remote working arrangements implemented to reduce potential exposure of staff to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.

“Congratulations to JPMorgan Chase for ordering everyone BACK TO OFFICE on September 21st. Will always be better than working from home!” Trump said in a tweet.

The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 10 broke the news that the bank, one of Wall Street’s biggest employers, had called its sales and trading staff back to the office by Sept. 21. Exempted from having to work in-office are employees with child-care issues and medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the CCP virus, according to the report.

JPMorgan, which is headquartered in Manhattan, sent its workers home in March, along with rest of Wall Street, as the pandemic surged in New York City, shuttering businesses and prompting stay-at-home orders. After nearly three months of lockdowns, the city began to reopen in June, with an indoor dining ban at restaurants being the longest to remain in force.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sept. 9 that New York City restaurants will be allowed to resume indoor dining on Sept. 30, although under a restrictive set of rules.

“Strict restrictions will be in place,” Cuomo said in a tweet, detailing the constraints. Restaurants will be limited to 25 percent capacity, all customers will have to submit to a temperature check at the door and wear masks when not seated at a table, which must be arranged at least six feet apart. Also, one member of each party will have to give contact tracing information. There will be no bar service, and restaurants must close by midnight while being held to more stringent air filtration and purification standards.

Trump’s praise for the Wall Street investment bank comes amid a broader White House initiative to encourage businesses and schools to resume activity safely.

“We believe many school districts can now reopen safely, provided they implement mitigation measures and health protocols to protect families, protect teachers, and to protect students,” Trump said in a statement in mid-August.

The White House said the unintended consequences of keeping schools closed could cause long-term harm to children’s education and hinder economic recovery.

Reinforcing the detrimental impact of school lockdowns on the economy, an intergovernmental agency that works to stimulate economic development recently warned that pandemic-related disruption to schools could cost America’s economy around $15 trillion in lost output over the remainder of the century. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report (pdf) that, provided it can be done safely, reopening educational facilities will have a positive impact on economic output.

“Reopening schools and universities will bring unquestionable benefits to students and the wider economy. In addition, reopening schools will bring economic benefits to families by enabling some parents to return to work,” the study authors wrote.

The agency warned, however, that if schools are slow to revert to previous levels of performance, the education-related detrimental impact of the pandemic on the economy could be even more costly.

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