For Neil Cavuto, the reopening of American businesses is personal, but not just because he reports on the economy every day on Fox News and Fox Business Network. Cavuto has multiple sclerosis and a compromised immune system, and as he anchors over 17 hours of television a week, he knows the toll work can take on an immunocompromised body, amid a pandemic or otherwise.
“Frankly, I think this is about more than livelihoods. This is about lives. If that weren’t the case, how is it markets ignore trillions of dollars in stimulus to deal with the virus, but jump at any hint of a cure for the virus?” he told TheWrap ahead of his Thursday town hall on the re-opening of the economy. “Because lives matter. In the end, lives are the only things that do matter. After all, you can rebuild a portfolio that’s lost a fortune, but you can’t rebuild a life simply lost.”
His 1 p.m. ET town hall will feature the co-founders of Home Depot and focus not only on how to re-open businesses shuttered during the pandemic, but how to do it safely. Cavuto, who has spoken to TheWrap about his health challenges in the past, said the coronavirus got his attention last January and he started to cover it immediately, not to be an “alarmist,” but a “realist.”
Viewers are “scared,” he said. “They’re anxious. It comes through loud and clear in their emails and video comments they’ve been sending us. Many want to get back to work, but they also want to be safe, and they hope and trust their elected officials to do the right thing, and advise the right thing.”
He’s happy with Home Depot’s Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone as the choice for the town hall guests because he believes they’ll calm some fears: “Bernie and Ken might be really rich, but they’re here because they know what’s really valuable. They get the difference between things that have a price and what is simply priceless.”
Still, he said, neither the 1987 stock market crash nor the financial panic 20 years later, both of which he covered, were as fast or sweeping as the economic toll of the coronavirus. In his estimation, the return to work and the rebuilding of the economy won’t happen quickly.
“But it will happen,” asserted Cavuto, no stranger to long recoveries. “That’s not me saying that. That’s history proving that. Again and again.”