“Look, you’re going to lose a number of people to the flu,” he mentioned throughout the city corridor. “But you’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression.”
That unease is hardly confined to the president and to glib conservative supporters of his like Dan Patrick, the 69-year-old lieutenant governor of Texas, who mentioned in an interview on Fox News on Monday evening: “I’m not living in fear of Covid-19. What I’m living in fear of is what’s happening to this country. And you know, Tucker, no one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival, in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
The problem of trade-offs and of how finest to stability epidemiological and financial issues has knowledgeable many articles within the Opinion pages of The Times, receiving extra measured consideration from my colleague Tom Friedman, from two educational titans and from a public-health skilled, David Katz, who not too long ago wrote, “I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself.”
That perspective transcends political social gathering. A outstanding Democrat, for example, mentioned to me, “Will we lose more Americans to suicide than to the coronavirus?” That was days earlier than Trump, throughout the city corridor, mentioned that if the nation is locked down for lengthy, “you’re going to have suicides by the thousands.”
This is excruciatingly powerful stuff, and but Trump is pre-empting the thorough and considerate deliberation that it calls for — and portray himself right into a nook — with pledges that the financial system will roar again and that America will “be open for business very soon, a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting — a lot sooner,” as he mentioned on Monday. If you’re an enemy of “soon,” you’re on skinny ice with him. I can hear it cracking underneath Anthony Fauci whilst I sort.
The president’s obsession with the financial system is an extension of his obsession with wealth. He has solely two lenses by way of which he sees the world, two yardsticks by which he measures everybody and all the pieces: cash and movie star. He can’t fake in any other case as a result of he doesn’t trouble to strive.