President Donald Trump is hoping to reopen the American economy in May and quickly get back to the low unemployment rates that he used to justify his claim that he'd created the "best economy" in history.
However, economists who spoke with Vox think that Trump's vision of a rapid V-shaped economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic are simply a pipe dream.
"The very best case scenario is we rapidly bounce back and we get close to something where we were before," said Jesse Edgerton, an economist at JPMorgan. "Personally, I think that’s highly unlikely. The shock from the virus is going to trigger a broader economy-wide recession."
Greg Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, predicted that there would be "permanent damage" inflicted upon the economy that would further widen the gulf between rich and poor Americans.
"What this shock is doing is exacerbating preexisting inequality issues across the country," he said. "The individuals who have been hit the hardest are the individuals who were in the most precarious position to start with."
Claudia Sahm, director of macroeconomic policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, similarly said that people who worked at low-wage jobs will face the biggest struggles to recover.
"Wages are going to come out of the recovery worse than they were,” Sahm said. “Everything is going to be worse for workers who went into the recession in the most fragile position and there are a lot of them.”