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Trump chooses livelihoods over lives

President Trump has decided the economy is more important than saving lives:

“(CNN) President Donald Trump unveiled a crash effort on Friday aimed at developing a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year but said the country would return to normal with or without one. ‘I just want to make something clear, it’s very important. Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back,’ Trump said ….”

Trump announced “Operation Warp Speed” to speed up vaccine development, although it’s unclear what if anything can be done that isn’t already being done to get a safe and effective vaccine quickly. (Maybe sacrifice safety and effectiveness?) In any case,

“The formal announcement of ‘Operation Warp Speed’ came as researchers around the world scramble to develop a vaccine for the virus that has killed more than 300,000 people globally. Many view an effective vaccine as the only way life can return to normal for people under stay-at-home orders or businesses whose operations have been limited.

“But Trump made clear Friday he does not share that view, insisting the economy is already rebounding as some states loosen their rules. Even as he projected confidence that a vaccine would be available within months, he downplayed the importance it might have in helping Americans return to normal.”

The message couldn’t be more clear: He’s determined to reopen the economy even if it kills us.

And kill us it will. As of yesterday, more than 86,000 Americans have died, and the latest modeling projects over 147,000 U.S. deaths by August. That means over 60,000 healthy Americans walking around today will be stone-cold dead just 12 weeks from now, with current mitigation measures in place. That number can be expected to balloon if a large number of states reopen without following the CDC guidelines the Trump administration has now shelved.

So why is Trump doing this? A reasonable supposition is that he believes that he needs a thriving economy to get reelected; and if that’s what’s motivating his decision-making, then it follows that his reelection is more important to him than whether you live or die.

Read story here.

Update: Stay-at-home orders have become a target of angry protests. Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, May 17, 2020, Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, a think tank, said he thinks the lockdowns were “necessary” and “have changed the course of the epidemic in the United States.” Hear his comments at about 9:30 minutes into this broadcoast here. Polls suggest about 90% of Americans support the public health efforts while about 10% support the protesters.


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  1. Roger Rabbit #
    1

    To be fair, no one thinks we can stay locked down indefinitely, and at some point very difficult tradeoffs will have to be made. When a general sends soldiers into battle, he knows some of them will die. But good generalship includes achieving victory at economical cost of lives; no military man would argue that simply throwing troops against enemy machineguns is good tactics. I agree with the principle that elected leaders, not experts, should make policy decisions; and that a balance must be struck. But they should do so informed by expertise. There are smart ways and stupid ways to go about reopening the economy. Protesters who brandish guns and refuse to wear masks or maintain social distancing fall in the stupid category; they’re nothing more than an irresponsible rabble. From what I can discern, the tack Trump is taking isn’t much less knee-jerk than theirs. What our country needs is a careful, thoughtful, and measured reopening not dictated by — but nevertheless informed by — scientific and medical expertise. In other words, calculated rather than reckless risk-taking. And that’s not what we’re seeing, which suggests to me that we’d all be better off with a different president as soon as possible.

  2. Good grief #
    2

    Amen to all that you said. Agree 200%. Careful, informed, measured decision making, while heeding the medical advise from experts; and definitely need more testing before reopening. Otherwise, who will be blamed for the risk taking decision to open too early? The one who supposedly/reportedly left the cupboard bare? Or the one who fired the entire pandemic response team two years ago and then didn’t replace them? Hmm.

  3. Mark Adams #
    3

    Only the stay at home policy is a failed policy. It has failed to stop the virus. It was too late as the horse was already out of the barn. No matter how much testing, lockdown, ect it was too late to quarantine a small number of infected individuals and do contact tracing. We now have a situation where the virus is endemic and probably not going away. Without the lock down it would have continued going through the population and we have a few more deaths, but we would be open, and not suffering the economic crises that is just now a concern. This recession or depression will mean 70,000 suicides. The banks taking over more homes and kicking out another 5 million people. Businesses that were operating will be gone never to reopen. TB is making a comeback in India and may come here. 1.4 million people suffering from the disease in India cannot get the medicine they require every day until they are cured because of that lock down. And TB will make a big come back, and may become a major endemic disease again. Time for our Gov and these other Govs to read the US Constitution and State Constitution and realize come election day they may face a reconing. It is time for them to open things up and get out of the way. They have overstepped their authority. Perhaps they should spend some time preparing for a real killer disease, or a real major earth quake which the current pandemic clearly show we are not prepared for.

  4. Mark Adams #
    4

    Or to put this another way 35 to 40 million Americans are little people who do unnecessary work. They are not essential. They are not any more important than street walking whore. I am not sure is whores in the current circumstances are unnecessary, or do not have some essence of humanity.
    So is this the new American plantation where the house slaves are essential, but the field slaves are not essential and are little more important than the local white trash. Though any slave owner would laugh and tell you the essence of their business was the work those field slaves did and they were necessary. And if a slave became unnecessary they were sold. Guess they were better off than some of todays 35 to 40 million state chattel.

  5. Roger Rabbit #
    5

    I ran across an article debunking the arguments of “reopen” advocates here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/11/us/reopening-the-economy-flawed-arguments-trnd/index.html The choice is simple: Base public policy on best available science or crowd-driven politics. The former is warning us the latter will cost lives.



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