As the economy crumbles under the weight of the worsening coronavirus outbreak, Donald Trump appears to be on the verge of opening back up the U.S. economy, despite what health experts are saying – all because he thinks it will help his reelection bid.
According to The Washington Post, “President Trump is weighing calls from some Republican lawmakers and White House advisers to scale back steps to contain the coronavirus despite the advice of federal health officials as a growing number of conservatives argue that the impact on the economy has become too severe, according to several people with knowledge of the internal deliberations.”
The report continues, “Loosening restrictions on social distancing would override the internal warnings of senior U.S. health officials, including Anthony S. Fauci, who have said that the United States has not yet felt the worst of the pandemic.”
In other words, Trump wants to loosen these social distancing restrictions – even if it puts American lives at risk – because he believes they’re hurting the economy and jeopardizing his reelection campaign.
As MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace said on Monday, there has not been a single moment throughout this crisis when Trump appeared to care about anything other than how all of this affects his own political fate.
“I haven’t heard a shred of reporting that suggests that there’s any sort of humanity awoken in Donald Trump about what it must be like” to be impacted by the coronavirus, the MSNBC host said.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 24, 2020
The exchange between Nicolle Wallace and MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Lemire:
WALLACE: I want to ask this artfully, understanding you are an objective reporter that just follows the facts wherever they lead. Is there anything about the president’s response that has anything to do with anything – I’ve listened carefully to everything you and Jonathan Swan and Hans Nichols have uttered in the last two hours, and I can’t pull a thread back to a single concern about the business owner or the person who will be knocked onto food stamps, and I can’t pull a single thread – I haven’t heard a shred of reporting that suggests that there’s any sort of humanity awoken in Donald Trump about what it must be like, especially our generation. We’ve got young kids, we’ve got parents. We’re worried about kids being out of school, we’re worried about parents who fall into that risk category. Is there any reporting that suggests any of his concerns about the economy or any of it have anything to do with anything other than his political fate?
LEMIRE: I’ll answer it this way. We certainly hear from him at the podium talking about wanting to protect American lives. But according to our reporting, certainly a lot of this is the implication to the economy, wanting to do well, and a lot of that because of how it could impact himself, his legacy and his re-election chances. That’s how he’s viewed this from the beginning.
Trump appears to be on the verge of making a catastrophic decision
As reporting from the Washington Post suggests, Trump could be on the verge of making a catastrophic decision that will endanger public health – all because he falsely thinks it will help the economy and boost his reelection chances.
But despite what the president thinks, it’s not the social distancing restrictions that are hurting the economy. It’s the virus – this public health crisis – itself that is.
As long as the this outbreak continues, the economy will continue suffer, Americans will continue to die and the U.S. healthcare system will be increasingly overwhelmed.
Lifting these life-saving restrictions won’t fix the sinking economy, but it will mean more Americans will become infected and die.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.