Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said that if inflation were going to end, it would depend mainly on how the pandemic goes.
"It really depends on the pandemic," Yellen said, speaking with CBS' "Face the Nation." And "the pandemic has been calling the shots for the economy and for inflation. And if we want to get inflation down, I think continuing to make progress against the pandemic is the most important thing we can do."
Yellen continued, acknowledging that Americans are experiencing "big increases in prices" for things like food, gas, and everyday items, according to Politico.
"You know," Yellen added, "when the economy recovers enough from COVID, the demand patterns, people go back to eating out, traveling more, spending more on services, and the demand for products, for goods begins to go back to normal. And also, labor supply has been impacted by the pandemic. Labor force participation is down; it hasn't recovered."
Yellen's comments come a day before President Joe Biden is expected to sign the $1 trillion infrastructure package on Monday. According to Reuters, director of the White House National Economic Council, Brian Deese, and Yellen said they believe the infrastructure bill "as well as the $1.75 trillion 'Build Back Better' domestic spending and climate investment bill" would "help bring down inflation."
"There's an urgency to act," Deese said. He adds that he is confident that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will bring the "Build Back Better" bill up for a vote next week. However, the Build Back Better bill would still need to get passed reluctant Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
But in terms of inflation lowering due to the pandemic ending, the Biden administration is still pushing for mass vaccinations of companies with 100 or more employees.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Sunday told Fox News, that a ruling in federal courts to end the mandate "would be a setback for public health."
"What we know very clearly is that when people get vaccinated – and the more people who get vaccinated the quicker we're able to bring this pandemic to an end — the more lives that we can ultimately save," Murthy said, according to Mass Live.
On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit stated in a ruling that the mandate is "a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers)."
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