For the past two weeks, AmCham has been discussing how to respond to coronavirus with members, health care professionals and government officials.
“Saving people’s lives is priority number one,” AmCham President Michal Chour of the Alcron Hotel says. “That is it. Life is priceless. Once it is lost, it cannot be recovered the next quarter. We are being told by the World Health Organization and the best epidemiological experts that containing the spread of the virus is the single most important step we can take. That will prevent the health authorities from being overwhelmed with cases. That will get us to the heat of spring and summer, which studies have shown have reduced the impact of other flu viruses. Each week will get us closer to a vaccine. Let’s put the talent and resources of our community to beating this threat.”
”We believe in evidence-based policy,” AmCham Vice-President Milan Šlapák of GE Aviation says. “That means we need to let the scientific experts give us the facts and their analysis, and shape policy accordingly. This is going to be a real test for everyone. We tend to believe someone who is successful has a better idea about everything than other people. An actor is not an expert on what to do about a virus. Neither is an aviation engineer or even a brain surgeon. An epidemiologist is. The World Health Organization is. This is literally a situation where bad advice can result in death. We need to be careful who we listen to, and we need to be careful what we say to each other.”
"We need to recognize this virus is going to exact a cost on all of society," AmCham executive director Weston Stacey says. "Government resources are going to be stretched preventing and treating the virus. We should be careful about asking the government to make commitments it can keep if the virus affects only China and Italy but would cause major problems if Germany goes into lockdown. On the other hand, the crisis is exposing some structural flaws such as the unfairness of the strict tax and regulations on hotels in comparison to the unregulated market of apartment or room rentals. The virus has caused much more damage to the Prague economy because of this."
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