Verizon CEO: Trump, private-sector CEOs working to reopen economy

'The conversation was very much that everyone wants the economy back as soon as possible'

Verizon Communications CEO Hans Vestberg said Friday he spoke with President Trump about how private-sector CEOs are preparing to reopen the U.S. economy.

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Vestberg said during a Friday appearance on "Mornings with Maria" that telecom companies, in particular, are ready to help because their services have been ongoing and necessary during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"The conversation was very much that everyone wants this economy back as soon as possible," Vestberg said of his call with the president. "A telecommunications company like ours, we have never closed because we are such an important infrastructure in these times."

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He added that the conversation was mostly focused on how the federal government and private sector can work together to "get the economy opened."

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people to overcome their hesitation in regard to using tools like telehealth, online education and video conferencing apps, Vestberg said.

A worker rebuilds a cellular tower with 5G equipment for the Verizon network on November 26, 2019 in Orem, Utah. The new 5G networks that are coming soon, will be 10x faster than the old 4G networks. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Verizon on Thursday announced its $500 million acquisition of video-conference company BlueJeans Network Inc. The acquisition came as video meeting apps see a surge in demand with friends, families and coworkers trying to find ways to communicate while they are separated during community lockdowns.

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"BlueJeans is a great company," Vestberg said. "We have been working with them since May [of] last year. We have done all the tests and everything we need to do as a partner. We started to re-sell their product in the opening of the fourth quarter of last year, and then one thing led to another, and now we're acquiring them."

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He added that the tool is "great" for the company's enterprise customers, including small and medium businesses.

Vestberg concluded by saying that technology in the U.S. will be forever changed as the result of the outbreak, and companies like Verizon have already made changes they wouldn't have thought possible just a few months ago.

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