Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talks to reporters about the economic impact of the coronavirus, at the White House, on 13 March, 2020: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other White House advisers warned of dire economic times ahead as the US continues to struggle to contain the coronavirus.

Nearly 80,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 as of Saturday, with over 1.35m confirmed cases of the disease. Health experts have warned that reopening businesses too early could lead to another spike in cases and put the economy back to square one.

But Mr Mnuchin warned on Sunday that if the US does not reopen businesses soon, even despite the public health risks, there will be “permanent” ramifications for the economy.

“I think there’s a considerable risk of not