Varney: Riots another ‘disastrous setback’ for America

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Varney: Riots set back America’s coronavirus recovery a few years

FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on how riots over George Floyd’s death have caused a huge setback to American recovery amid coronavirus.

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FOX Business’ Stuart Varney, in his latest “My Take,” argues that the riots breaking out nationwide over George Floyd's death have set back American cities once again, just as coronavirus had.

“Another disastrous setback for America's cities,” he said. “New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and many others. Still locked down and now hit with riots, and curfews, and maybe more virus infections. Looters weren't wearing masks and mobs get real close together.”

Varney asked, how many employees will be returning to work now that the cities and surrounding businesses have been destroyed? People staying locked up in the suburbs may feel the need to stay, he said, since nearby stores and restaurants have not been tampered with.

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“Not so in the cities,” he said. “Many are burned out and/or broke and will not be coming back, ever! That’s the fabric of city life, radically changed.”

A protester tosses a smoke bomb towards police during a third night of unrest Sunday May 31, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Many businesses are even thinking twice about getting back to work at full capacity since, Varney said, technology makes working from home “very productive” and cutting back on office rent raises profit.

Varney said paying for riot damages to businesses on top of paying for the shutdown will be “contentious.”

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“The taxpayers of Florida are not likely to be enthusiastic about rebuilding Minneapolis,” he said. “And suburbanites around New York or Chicago or Los Angeles will not be happy about paying for cities set on fire by their own residents.”

The worst of it, Varney said, is the amplification of fear and anxiety – first from the coronavirus pandemic and now from the riots.

Demonstrators start a fire as they protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Before this weekend, there was some hope that the city lockdowns would end soon and the recovery could at least begin,” he said. “This Monday morning, that hope has faded.”

Varney said city mayors have “failed to get a grip” including New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio who called for a “light touch” amid protests.

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“What a shame. What an outrage,” he said. “All that energy and genius that our cities bring out, crushed. By lockdowns and riots. Cities and the downtowns across America could have made a comeback in a few months. Now, surely, it’s a matter of years."

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