Episode 07: COVID-19’s Effects on the Economy with Macroeconomist Char Weise

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1

President’s Office


In Episode 7 of Conversations Beneath the Cupola, podcast host, Gettysburg College President Robert W. Iuliano is joined by Macroeconomist and Prof. of Economics Char Weise. Iuliano and Weise discuss the effects the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the economy, what the U.S. government could have done differently, and how long the reverberations may last.

The episode begins with Weise comparing the economic implications of COVID-19 to past economic crises. He explains that most recessions begin with big ticket items and hit the large corporate sector first, but this situation is the opposite—small, local businesses first, and big corporations only as a result of that. And so, local businesses are expected to suffer the most from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The conversation continues as Iuliano asks Weise what he sees to be the strengths and weaknesses of the government’s response, which currently consists of the CARE Act and an economic stimulus package. For Weise, a strength is the money that is going to individuals, as each tax paying unit gets a $1,200 one-time payment and an additional $500 for each dependant, but his main concern is the $500 billion in loan guarantees for large corporations and its potential effect on taxpayers. He also shares that there are lessons that can be learned from the current health situation and subsequent economic crisis, including a desperate need for some kind of reform of healthcare, reform of the social safety net.

The episode concludes with an anecdotal “Slice of Life” told through the president’s perspective. Iuliano briefly talks about music education major Kelly Reymann ’18 who created a YouTube channel for her students. In one of her episodes, she is joined by several Gettysburgians to sing the song “This Little Light of Mine.” A clip of the song is played at the end.


A full transcript of this episode is available on the podcast website.