Coronavirus: Disney’s Bob Iger, Apple’s Tim Cook, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more join California economic taskforce

Disney boss Bob Iger and Apple CEO Tim Cook have joined an 80-plus economic recovery taskforce to advise on California’s policy as the state attempts to salvage its economy in the wake of the pandemic crisis.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the creation of the group during a news conference on Friday.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer will co-chair the advisory panel, which will also include Arnold Schwarzenegger and three additional former California governors, Pete Wilson, Jerry Brown, and Gray Davis.

“I have asked and tasked some of the best and brightest minds that we could source,” he said.

“A disproportionate number – almost exclusively – reside here, in the state of California. Some of the most well-known business leaders in the world happen to reside here in California. Some of the great social justice warriors reside here in the state of California.”

Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, will also join the group.

The taskforce will begin hosting meetings soon, Mr Newsom said.

It will divide its work into subcategories corresponding to specific sectors such as entertainment, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, and more.

The group is meant to supplement existing work groups already in place “in a collaborative spirit”, Mr Newsom said.

As of Friday morning, California had recorded the highest number of coronavirus deaths in any 24-hour period since the pandemic began, with 99 dying in that time.

While the number of new cases appears to be plateauing statewide, clusters continue to grow in some areas, including 157 cases at a nursing home in Tulare County southeast of Fresno, Mr Newsom said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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