BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Friday that wearing masks is critical to helping the U.S. economy recover from the damage caused by forced business closures because of the coronavirus.

“We are witnessing many, many states reopening, but reopening without wearing masks. We need a world of compassion and that compassion is meaning wearing a mask,” Fink said on “Squawk Box.” “If we all wore masks, if we all cared about our fellow citizens a little more, we will be resolving this crisis much sooner.”

However, a failure to wear masks and take other precautions may allow the virus to continue to spread and potentially necessitate more strict mitigation measures, he said.

“If the disease continues to grow, if mortality rates grow from where they are today, then we’re going to have to see another shutdown of parts of our economy, and then the small and medium business … are going to have a harder time,” Fink said.

In states such as Texas and California, parts of their reopening plans have already been pulled back or paused due to record-breaking Covid-19 case increases and spiking hospitalizations. Daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit another record, topping 77,000 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

On Friday morning, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, beat expectations with second-quarter earnings and revenue, while also reporting a 7% increase in assets under management to $7.32 trillion.


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