Republicans are quickly rallying around the idea that businesses should open back up sooner than medically advisable in order to “save” the economy even if it means skyrocketing infection rates and mass deaths.
It’s the natural, despicable intellectual terminus of a party that has for decades placed the interests of the rich over the health and safety of most Americans. The plutocrats don’t like seeing their stocks tank and are willing to let people die to protect their finances.
Yes, the economic downturn is going to hurt everyone and it’s a serious problem, but prematurely sending people back to work is even more dangerous. With a global mortality rate of 3.4%, the coronavirus could kill millions of Americans if safety procedures are abandoned. Not only would those avoidable deaths be a tragedy of historic proportions, they would almost certainly cause an economic depression anyway, nullifying any economic boon that an early return to normalcy might bring.
The president himself is pushing to reopen the economy, presumably in no small part because his own family businesses are suffering from the shutdown. Trump is willing to sacrifice an untold number of Americans to the coronavirus rather than shoulder the costs, political and monetary, that the proper approach (that is, maintaining quarantines) will require.
The usual Trump surrogates are following suit. Right-wing pundit and contributor to The Federalist Jesse Kelly took to Twitter to ludicrously claim that he would be willing to “happily die” for his country in order to prevent a Great Depression.
Ignoring the pathetic grandstanding, Kelly is also proffering a false premise. Sending Americans back to work provides no guarantee that we will avoid a recession or even depression. All it guarantees is that more Americans will die. Painting a decision to endanger people for the sake of the economy as heroic is incredibly irresponsible and a reminder that we should not take the opinions of men like this seriously.
Twitter’s response was swift and brutal.
The gene pool will thank you.
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) March 24, 2020
go for it dawg
— salaryman (@bobby) March 24, 2020
Well, this is a false choice, so you're off the hook.
— Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) March 24, 2020
No, you wouldn't. You're only taking this stance because you know you're not in the most at risk category, you have the money to afford whatever healthcare you need, and would still have the ability and funds to mostly isolate yourself if quarantining ended.
— muirab (@muirab5) March 24, 2020
Blood for stocks.
— Eyes on the Right (@EyesOnTheRight) March 24, 2020
becoming a suicide bomber for stonks
— mayo soup for the centrist soul (@l0stndamned) March 24, 2020
I triple dog dare you
— American Propagandist (@ArmyStrang) March 24, 2020
— JoS. S. Laughon (@paleomexicano) March 24, 2020
I really think this misses the point. Because it's not a choice. We can't actually save the economy by letting a million Americans die. A million Americans dying will also crash the economy.
— Matthew Prorok (@MJtheProphet) March 24, 2020
put your money where your mouth is
— victim of capitalism (@joshieecs) March 24, 2020