May 19, 2020
Washington Institute for Business, Government, & Society
D.C. Partner Vinoda Basnayake talked about the reopening of Washington, D.C. on the Washington Institute for Business, Government, & Society's "Shaping the World Together" podcast. Basnayake currently serves on the Reopen D.C. Advisory Board and is chair of the Commission of Nightlife and Culture for the city.
Basnayake and Jim Moore, founder of the Washington Institute, discussed D.C.'s plans for reopening and how to turn the spigot back on when it comes to the local economy. Basnayake says that Mayor Muriel Bowser has set the bar when it comes to how cities should respond to the pandemic.
"What D.C. has done in its data-driven approach and its fact-based approach that's dictated by modeling has really allowed us residents of D.C. to be privy to the same information they are," he says. "And that's the fact that thousands and thousands of cases have been thwarted because of the fact that we are implementing our social distancing." D.C. is not expected to peak until mid-June, one of the main factors in deciding how the city will phase its reopening.
Basnayake also suggested that positive, new efficiencies for virtual service delivery are being discovered due to business constraints. But he still thinks it will be awhile before people feel comfortable attending mass gatherings like concerts, sporting events, and night clubs.
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