Tech

Cramer calls on government to enlist corporate America in a coordinated coronavirus fight

Key Points
  • The American business community is stepping up to help during the coronavirus outbreak in ways the government is not, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday. 
  • "America is waiting for no one, and the companies are starting to help everybody," Cramer said. 
  • Cramer said the U.S. government should get more creative in enlisting the private sector in relief efforts.
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Cramer: Government must reach out to private sector for help fighting coronavirus

The American business community is stepping up to help during the coronavirus outbreak in ways the government is not, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday. 

"We can't just count on the government," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "We're all waiting for the Federal Reserve chairman. We're all waiting for [Treasury] Secretary Mnuchin, but America is not waiting for these people. America is waiting for no one, and the companies are starting to help everybody." 

Cramer stressed that fiscal relief measures from the federal government are critical in softening the economic blow from the coronavirus but argued the government should lean on the private sector for help. 

He said the government has become "denuded of resources over the last 25 years that they're no longer capable of waging the war that we need of this disease."  

For example, Cramer said companies such as Intuit and Square could be instrumental in helping the Treasury Department administer payments to Americans who receive aid in a hypothetical aid package.  

"I don't think we're being creative at all," Cramer said. 

But in the interim, Cramer complimented the efforts of companies such as Cisco and Facebook that are taking action. 

Facebook, which earned over $21 billion in revenue in the 2019 fourth quarter, on Tuesday announced a $100 million program to help small businesses who are grappling with temporary closures in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease. The money is available for up to 30,000 eligible businesses.

Cisco, for example, is covering the full wages of hourly contract workers who are impacted by the company's mandatory work-from-home policy

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins also has called on other corporations to assist contract workers and other people who are at risk for economic and health hardships during the coronavirus outbreak. 

"It's a real difficult time frankly for the most vulnerable," Robbins said on "Squawk on the Street," specifically referencing cafeteria and custodial staff who are temporarily out of work. 

"Those are the ones who are going to suffer and so making the commitment to pay them at 100% during this crisis are just easy things that some of us can do, but unfortunately every company cannot do," Robbins said. "And we have to find a way to make sure we're helping those who aren't in that situation." 

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Cisco CEO on how the private sector can help during the coronavirus crisis