Trump Torn on COVID-19 Measures

The President tweeted, "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself."

President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter's question during the coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing Sunday, March 22, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question during the coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing Sunday, March 22, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Having spent weeks saying the threat from the novel coronavirus was a “Democratic hoax” being hyped by the liberal media to damage his re-election, the President finally turned the corner last week. Now, he’s having second thoughts.

Philip Rucker, Jeff Stein, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker reporting for WaPo (“Trump says he may soon push businesses to reopen, defying the advice of coronavirus experts“):

President Trump, under growing pressure to rescue an economy in free fall, said Monday that he may soon loosen federal guidelines for social distancing and encourage shuttered businesses to reopen — defying public health experts, who have warned that doing so risks accelerating the spread of the novel coronavirus or even allowing it to rebound.

“America will again and soon be open for business — very soon,” Trump said at the daily White House news conference. “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

As he watches stock prices plummet and braces for an expected surge in unemployment, Trump has received urgent pleas from rattled business leaders, Republican lawmakers and conservative economists imploring him to remove some of the stringent social distancing guidelines that he put in place for a 15-day period ending March 30, according to several people with knowledge of the internal deliberations.

The various arguments, which are gaining traction across the political right, can be boiled down to this: No matter how many people may lose their lives to the coronavirus, many millions more stand to lose their jobs and face ruin if the economy does not reopen.

The consensus among experts — including infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci and other senior officials on Trump’s coronavirus task force — is that restaurants, bars, schools, offices and other gathering places should remain closed for many more weeks to mitigate the outbreak, the worst effects of which are yet to be felt in the United States.

But Trump has been chafing against that notion and impatient to get American life back to normal.

“If it were up to the doctors, they’d say let’s keep it shut down, let’s shut down the entire world . . . and let’s keep it shut for a couple of years,” Trump said Monday. “We can’t do that.”

Governors in many states, including my home state of Virginia, have already ordered non-essential businesses to close for the foreseeable future and it’s not clear that Trump has any authority to undo that even if he decided to do so.

Still, I’m sympathetic to the fear that the economic devastation of these measures is permanent. And agree with Trump’s implicit argument that this is ultimately a political decision that involves balancing the risks associated with two really awful eventualities and not one where we can simply defer to “the experts.” Fauci and others must absolutely be heard, but so must those with expertise in the economic and social fallout.

Alas, his risk assessments look like something from the Facebook walls of lots of friends and acquaintances.

Trump drew parallels to the flu season, which he said was on pace to be responsible for the deaths of some 50,000 Americans, as well as to car crashes — comparisons that Fauci and other experts have dismissed as examples of false equivalency.

“You look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about,” Trump said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody no more driving of cars.”

And it doesn’t help that he has conflicts of interest.

David A. Fahrenthold, Joshua Partlow and Jonathan O’Connell, also of WaPo, note “Before Trump called for reevaluating lockdowns, they shuttered six of his top-earning clubs and resorts.”

President Trump’s private business has shut down six of its top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels because of restrictions meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, potentially depriving Trump’s company of millions of dollars in revenue.

Those closures come as Trump is considering easing restrictions on movement sooner than federal public health experts recommend, in the name of reducing the virus’s economic damage.

In a tweet late Sunday, Trump said the measures could be lifted as soon as March 30. “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” he wrote on Twitter.

In his unprecedented dual role as president and owner of a sprawling business, Trump is facing dual crises caused by the coronavirus. As he is trying to manage the pandemic from the White House, limiting its casualties as well as the economic fallout, his company is also navigating a major threat to the hospitality industry.

Aside from the personal stake, probably the more salient point is that he simply identifies as a businessman first and foremost and therefore weighs the economic risk more highly than a typical President.

Still, as devastating as the economic fallout of long-term closures are likely to be—and I continue to believe that it’ll be more devastating than the Great Recession and 9/11 combined—there’s no real choice.

Dan Drezner observes “All policy choices have trade-offs. The one the president is considering is insane.”

By just about every available metric, the coronavirus pandemic in the United States has been getting worse. This is true if one uses rough counts of those infected or looks at how well the United States is doing compared with other countries at similar stages in the outbreak. Although an awful lot of U.S. civil society has responded with alacrity to the emergency, there is currently little evidence that the United States has “flattened the curve.”

[…]

If this sounds insane given what prompted the national emergency in the first place, it’s worth noting that an awful lot of policymaking is doing cost-benefit analyses, and most cost-benefit analyses have to assign a dollar amount to the life of a human being. It is a crass, dehumanizing thing to do, and yet it must be done all the time. Very few public policies are rooted in some Kantian categorical imperative. Most are grounded in a utilitarian trade-off.

[…]

The economic costs to the current state of emergency are severe and could be catastrophic. So it is entirely appropriate that a president calculate the costs and benefits of continuing to pursue extreme measures as sheltering in place.

The problem, however, is that this president is incapable of such calculation. Among the president’s bigger toddler traits are his short attention span and poor impulse control. Both are compromising his ability to make reasoned decisions.

[…]

Beyond this president’s inability to do cost-benefit analysis, there is the small matter that any reasonable analysis strongly stacks the deck in favor of extreme measures in the short term rather than a premature return to ordinary activity. See labor economist Betsey Stevenson’s back-of-the-envelope calculations, for example, or simply the realization that any attempt to prematurely return to normal business activity will inevitably fall prey to a renewed bout of the coronavirus. Even jurisdictions that have responded well to the virus have had to cope with renewed flare-ups.

The obsessive short-term thinking of Trump (and White House adviser Jared Kushner) threatens to overwhelm that logic, however. In the end, the crassest argument will be necessary to persuade Trump not to do what he is thinking of doing. Lifting emergency procedures will hurt Trump’s voters more than anyone else, because they are more likely to listen to him and follow his lead. This means they are more likely to get infected and die before they can cast their ballots in November.

That is a coldhearted thing to say. It also might be the only thing that stops Trump from killing more than half a million Americans.

Finally, as Adam Cancryn and Nancy Cook note at POLITICO, “Health officials want Trump to ‘double down, not lighten up’ restrictions.”

Rattled health officials are trying to fight off ascendant voices around Donald Trump pressing the president to restart the economy as soon as Monday to stem severe business and job losses.

The prospect of resuming typical business so soon has horrified these public health leaders, who see the debate as premature amid a crisis that the administration is just beginning to wrangle, according to eight people with knowledge of the administration’s discussions about its coronavirus guidelines.

Health experts are contending the fallout will be worse if the White House declares victory now, only to have the virus resurface weeks or months from now. The government, they argue, has yet to definitively answer key questions that would dictate how to reactivate the economy: Do those who recover from coronavirus become immune? How do underlying health conditions affect the severity of the virus? And, most important, how widely has it spread?

There’s no telling what the President will do. It would not be an easy choice for any President. It’s a decision with domestic ramifications exponentially greater than anything since at least the twin disasters of the Great Depression and World War II.

But, as awful as the shutdown of the “non-essential” parts of the economy will be, the death toll of not doing it will almost certainly be far worse.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Donald Trump, Economics and Business, Health, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. mattbernius says:

    Man, I for one didn’t have “within a decade the party that campaigned against ‘death panels’ would through their support behind a president who is arguing for an acceptable amount of American casualties to keep our economy moving” on my political bingo card…

    But, as awful as the shutdown of the “non-essential” parts of the economy will be, the death toll of not doing it will almost certainly be far worse.

    Not to mention, if the death toll does spike because of tapering social distancing too soon, the economic hit may be far, far worse.

    Personally, I’m also a bit concerned that all of this is going to further fray the urban & suburban / rural divide in the country. As things drag on, I expect the virus is going to be increasingly positioned as an urban issue (and cities may be seen as crashing our economy). Should that last until the fall, and we don’t come up with new, COVID-19 friendly, voting regulations, things could be really scary.

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  2. Teve says:

    I’m glad that Trump put his assets in a blind trust so we know he’s not just saying this for personal gain.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    To talk about Trump “deciding” something or to imagine that he is “weighing” the pros and cons grossly overestimates his mental capacity. Trump is incapable of serious consideration. He is a profoundly stupid man with almost zero impulse control, not able to see beyond the faces in the room or the things popping in and out of his head in each and every instant. If he cared about anyone or anything beyond his basic animalistic needs, he would resign.

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  4. Mister Bluster says:

    We cannot let the President be worse than the problem itself.

    (An Old Fool said that.)

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  5. Argon says:

    The worst thing for both the economy and public health is to half-ass and short circuit the response. The worst thing. None of Trump’s economic advisors are real economists, they’re hacks. It’s a dark day realizing that the meme, ‘count on Trump to do the absolutely worst thing’ is actually an invariant law of nature.

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  6. Pete S says:

    The idea of reducing the countermeasures against the virus seems awful. A conversation about costs and benefits might be worthwhile if this idiotic idea of Trump’s (which seems to becoming a Republican position pretty quickly) was actually being pushed by, you know, real economists. The way it is being presented now just seems evil. Probably because it is.

    I hope that every Republican running this year is tied to the Texas Lt Govs comments last night about grandparents happily giving their lives to protect the economy for their grandkids.

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  7. mattbernius says:

    @Pete S agreed. It would be good to have a discussion about those trade-offs and what an exit from this situation looks like. However, that isn’t what this feels like.

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  8. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Pete S:

    I hope that every Republican running this year is tied to the Texas Lt Govs comments last night about grandparents happily giving their lives to protect the economy for their grandkids.

    Why is willingness to sacrifice yourself for your grandchildren a bad thing? The Home Guard were seen as honorable. The elderly who went into Fukushima to clean up were honored.

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

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  9. Kit says:

    There is a point, in my mind at least, where I start fearing the economic consequences more than those to public health. Where exactly I cannot say, but I wish we had more information available. Being in uncharted waters with everyone seemingly 100% decided on one extreme or another leaves me very uncomfortable. I question whether those who are predicting another year of self isolation are undermining support for prolonged measures. And I wonder what the end game is, short of a new vaccine.

    I do think that countries will go different ways should this extend into the summer. There will be winners and losers, no doubt.

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  10. Not the IT Dept. says:

    From the way Republicans talk, you’d think The Economy was some kind of deity with altars and temples where it can be worshipped and has sacrifices offered to it. The economy comes down to this: people making purchases of goods and services, companies making those goods and providing those services, growth depends on more people buying more and/or different things and the more people around the world who have money and freedom to buy things.

    Hasn’t got squat to do with billionaires and their owned GOP representatives. Oh, and tax rates don’t really matter.

    And since Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blew the lid off with his suicidal grandparents saving the economy idea, I think we have confirmation about how little the GOP cares about Americans and worships money. Not work or production, just money.

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  11. DrDaveT says:

    Everyone discussing this in public needs to frame it as “Trump wants you to die for the good of his stock portfolio.”

    There is a reasoned, scientific approach to cycling shutdowns with periods of relaxation, to both flatten the curve and sustain the economy. I highly recommend the article The Hammer and the Dance, which describes it. This is not that.

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  12. Kari Q says:

    Reversing course now would lock in both the high costs of letting the virus run its course unchecked and the cost of a partial shut down. Even from a purely economic perspective it makes no sense.

    That’s without even considering the people who will die, the suffering of those who may experience lasting health problems (I’ve seen reports of long-term respiratory problems among survivors), and the cost of care for those who will be hospitalized.

    It’s nuts. It’s stupid. It’s the worst possible response. It’s guaranteed to happen.

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  13. Kari Q says:

    @Kit:

    I question whether those who are predicting another year of self isolation are undermining support for prolonged measures.

    Probably. There’s no way that a year of this would be sustainable. But based on the experience of other countries, it wouldn’t be near that long. A couple of months appears to be what is necessary to turn the tide.

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  14. @James:

    probably the more salient point is that he simply identifies as a businessman first and foremost and therefore weighs the economic risk more highly than a typical President

    I don’t think it is business instincts, but that his enter argument for his presidency is the awesome economy. That is now gone and he is desperate to get it back.

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  15. KM says:

    @mattbernius:
    Until it starts going in rural areas, you mean. The only thing they have going for them is distance but they’re the areas least likely to be obeying COVID-19 guidelines like social distancing. They still think it’s a hoax, remember? They’re furious at bars being shut down and are still gathering for church and fun like it’s a political test of faith. There’s also a lot of long distance movement you won’t see in cities – it’s nothing to drive dozens of miles regularly or even hit up another state for things you need. Not to mention all the transitory farmhands and workers. All it takes is one exposure…..

    Otherwise, they are screwed – limited supply chain/sources and a hospital for every 300 miles or so that can care for the sick properly. So what if only 2-3 people get seriously sick per small town, when the nearest major care center might be in the next state with only 200 beds (assuming it’s not overwhelmed as well), it adds up fast. We’ll be hearing plenty of stories about finding neighbors dead in their house days or weeks later. Whole small towns could get wiped out if people leave for treatment and never make it back. They might get hit later but it’s gonna hit harder in places that can’t afford to lose anything and had little to begin with.

    Being in the countryside wasn’t protection from the plague then and it won’t be now, especially when you’re arrogant enough to assume this is a “liberal” problem.

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  16. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    Nothing. Now who exactly is saying that? Do you see any of the people they were talking about actually say that?

    This is the GOP offering someone else up as tribute, not someone deciding to take the bullet themselves. They are essentially telling the old and vulnerable it’s for the good of society to die so stocks don’t take a hit anymore. We’re not at the point that’s necessary – this isn’t an economic Fukushima just yet. They’re so very quick to offer others up to die for their bank accounts…. while not taking the risks themselves.

    Tell you what, let one of them get infected and then repeat that wish. Let’s see them put their money where their mouth is. They should be first in line to make such a noble sacrifice for the nation they were elected to serve, after all. Leaders lead.

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  17. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    [H]is enter argument for his presidency is the awesome economy.

    Agreed. We cannot discount how much the fall election plays into his thinking at this point.

    @KM:

    Until it starts going in rural areas, you mean.

    Understood — especially given how stretched thin medical systems are there. Though I expect even then it’s going to be blamed on an exodus of people fleeing from urban areas.

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  18. @Mu Yixiao:

    Why is willingness to sacrifice yourself for your grandchildren a bad thing? The Home Guard were seen as honorable. The elderly who went into Fukushima to clean up were honored.

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    I think that in a simple scenario in which the elderly sacrifice themselves to save the village from the coming hordes so that the youth can go on to a long life can be one of great honor and noble sacrifice.

    This is not what this is. This won’t be a Thanos snap where all the Olds all disappear to save the economy. For one thing, an overwhelmed medical system is not going to be good for anyone. For another, it won’t just be the elderly. It will be people with all kinds of health problems. It will also be some significant portion of younger otherwise healthy people.

    More later, I suspect, but I have to go to a meeting (a virtual one, of course).

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  19. DrDaveT says:

    @KM:

    They are essentially telling the old and vulnerable it’s for the good of society to die so stocks don’t take a hit anymore.

    They also seem to have missed the point that the mechanism of the “weeding” would decimate the health care provider population and essentially eliminate major medical care for problems other than COVID-19 for weeks if not months. Having a baby? You’re on your own. Hit by a car? Sorry, we’re busy. Unless the idea was to not even treat anyone infected…?

    Are they ignoring those costs, or just assuming that it’s already too late and those costs are sunk?

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  20. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    For another, it won’t just be the elderly. It will be people with all kinds of health problems. It will also be some significant portion of younger otherwise healthy people.

    God forbid that we get to an Italy or Spain scenario where it’s *your* elderly relative being taken off a respirator to give it to *someone else’s* younger relative.

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  21. Kari Q says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Are they ignoring those costs, or just assuming that it’s already too late and those costs are sunk?

    I think they are assuming that they will simply die “and decrease the surplus population.”

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    We need to keep some perspective here. The hospitalization rate in diagnosed cases appears to be about 15%, but that’s probably a fraction of the actual cases. Right now the worst case I’m hearing is that about 1% of the US population will die of this (2% fatality rate, 50% infected), with other scenarios being half or a quarter of that. It’s awful and it’s devastating, but our society and economy can handle that.

    We also need to look to Seattle and NYC and start to understand the behavior changes for those that have had it. Once a significant percentage of the population has had the disease and survived, they will no doubt be calling for their restrictions to be lifted. That may be a good thing or the worst possible thing, but it will happen and we don’t yet understand the ramifications.

    Bottom line we need clear and decisive thinking. Instead we have Republicans, led by Trump.

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  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    If this sounds insane given what prompted the national emergency in the first place, it’s worth noting that an awful lot of policymaking is doing cost-benefit analyses, and most cost-benefit analyses have to assign a dollar amount to the life of a human being. It is a crass, dehumanizing thing to do, and yet it must be done all the time.

    Ah capitalism… you have never lied to me, you have never held up false hope.

    You have always been clear: we have always been grist for the mill, our blood providing lubrication for the gears of economy, commerce and finance.

    Throw another grandparent in.

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  24. Scott says:

    @mattbernius:

    God forbid that we get to an Italy or Spain scenario where it’s *your* elderly relative being taken off a respirator to give it to *someone else’s* younger relative.

    I think I read somewhere that Italy has more doctors and hospital beds per capita than the US. So there’s that.

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  25. mattbernius says:

    Another thought on the urban/rural divide and @KM’s comment. Yes, I’m sure COVID-19 will occur in rural areas. But we also need to be aware that population density appears to be one of the most critical vectors of the disease:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/nyregion/coronavirus-nyc-crowds-density.html

    So the reality is that while @MarkedMan’s statistics may be correct, the deaths probably will not be equally distributed. Death rates in more dense, urban locations are most likely going to be much higher than in rural areas. And even though stressed, rural medical systems may be able to keep up with the rate of infections while urban systems will be swamped.

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  26. Scott says:
  27. steve says:

    If we don’t find a cure or a vaccine Covid may become a new way of life and we may have to accept that while continuing to look for better ways to treat it, but you don’t just give up w/o trying. This is clearly different and we need to try. Our number of ventilated pts nearly tripled in 2 days. This is not the flu. At the very least keep things locked down a bit until we have enough basic medical gear and PPE to treat pts. Oh, and tests. We need to get to the point where “if you want a test, you can get one.”

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  28. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Why is willingness to sacrifice yourself for your grandchildren a bad thing?

    It isn’t. But notice the notion of sacrifice does not extend to paying one’s grandchildren a living wage, providing decent healthcare, decent working conditions, assuming a fair share of risk, refusing to over-charge for tuition, or even paying their fair share of taxes.

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  29. Teve says:

    @MikeDrucker

    Replying to @DanPatrick

    Thank you for your brave words, sir. While I treasure my time with my parents, I am willing to let them die a painful, suffocating death so I can buy a new TV sooner.

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  30. Kathy says:

    I’ve an idea for Mr. Trump:

    First he, his wife, his children and spouses, his VP, and his cabinet (including the acting secretaries) agree to be inoculated with the novel coronavirus.

    Second, we listen to the survivors on the best course of action.

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  31. Gustopher says:

    @mattbernius:

    God forbid that we get to an Italy or Spain scenario where it’s *your* elderly relative being taken off a respirator to give it to *someone else’s* younger relative.

    The prospect that they would take someone else off a respirator to save me really, really rubs me the wrong way. I try to not be a bother, and that seems like the antithesis of not being a bother.

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  32. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Someone at the next press conference should ask Trump if he’s willing to follow Dan Patrick’s advice and when – willing personally. Then follow up with Mitch McConnell.

    And while we’re at it, Mu: how old are you? How many of your parents and/or grandparents are still living? And how long are you prepared to let them survive in the event of the economy tanking further?

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  33. inhumans99 says:

    Someone needs to tell President Trump to stop sounding like a scared old man on TV (which he is but still) as it is not projecting strength to his base. He sounds like Chicken Little saying oh noes…it is going to be a year or two of isolation when it is clearly not going to be that. He sounds like the guy saying the sky is falling.

    Also, I love how he claims he has sacrificed so much as a rich guy to become President…umm, thanks for your “sacrifice,” I guess. That lost income from his clubs ivory tower type hangouts is ultimately saving lives by not being open as it sounds like places like Mar A Lago were becoming (or basically were) flashpoints for folks to get sick.

    I just think McConnell cringes every time our President says something that makes him sound scared and considering how much of the GOP is tethered to President Trump by extension he is making the GOP look weak (which I suspect is part of the reason Rand Paul tried to push back against that narrative that he/the GOP is scared by going to a gym but look how that turned out for him…hope he only had a mild case, but bet he would have preferred not to be sick at all).

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  34. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    There’s nothing wrong with a person saying that. But there is a big difference between them saying it and a governor saying they should say it.

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  35. Slugger says:

    I am in my mid-seventies and am fairly skeptical about the power of medical interventions to make much of an impact if I become severely ill. Hence, I have had a directive to refuse respirators for me filed with my primary care doctor with a copy at home and have told my family. However, I want a chance and don’t want to be sacrificed because it lets people go to bars sooner. It would be a great show of leadership for our country’s leaders to announce that they have also filed the same directive as I have. If Mr. Trump said he had a directive, it would make relaxation of the current rules more palatable.

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  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    For starters, not a single trump voter over the age of 50 is offering to die for the greater good. How do I know this? They voted for trump, which was the biggest middle finger older folks have ever give to the youth of this country.

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  37. DrDaveT says:

    @inhumans99:

    I just think McConnell cringes every time our President says something

    And here I had thought that Trump never did anything worthwhile in his life…

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    From the way Republicans talk, you’d think The Economy was some kind of deity with altars and temples where it can be worshipped and has sacrifices offered to it

    Conservatism is, in general, best thought of as a religion.

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  39. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99:

    I just think McConnell cringes every time our President says something

    I don’t know what to make of McConnell at this point. He was skipping coronavirus briefings to go to fundraisers as of last week and still is not participating in the negotiations between Mnuchin and Pelosi. He seems completely incapable of providing any leadership at all in this crisis.

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  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have to note the irony of the “pro-life” party asking all the olds to die.

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  41. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    There is some very basic math that will tell us when it’s OK to exit from social distancing and other extreme measures…when there are health care workers with adequate PPE, enough tests, and enough ventilators, to handle the population that is going to need them…then we can get back to normal. This is not difficult.
    Unfortunately our President isn’t very smart, and may not be able to figure this out.
    I’m sympathetic to the economic impacts…I’m on the edge of retirement and my 401K is worth about half what it was a month ago.
    But I also had Influenza A about a month ago and I spent a night in the hospital on a ventilator. Let me tell you…you do not want to show up at the hospital and have them tell you that there isn’t a ventilator for you, when you need one.
    Trump was late to act, continues to not do enough, and so we are woefully behind in supplying the health care system with what it needs. It’s not a good idea to pull out of this effort early.
    Previous generations had to put up with a lot more than this. Toughen up America.

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott:

    Now we have the experience of Hong Kong and Singapore, who reached an inflection point with the virus, began a return to normalcy and have seen the virus return with a vengeance. The US is no where close to a peak, so to back off from the recommended protocols would increase the public health disaster. From an economic prospective, the cure is devastating the economy, but so would a return to normalcy.

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  43. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    OK…you go first.

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  44. Teve says:

    McConnell figured out a long time ago you tell lies to your dumb voters, and enrich your wealthy donors, and that’s how you get power and keep power.

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  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    @KM:

    Until it starts going in rural areas, you mean. The only thing they have going for them is distance but they’re the areas least likely to be obeying COVID-19 guidelines like social distancing. They still think it’s a hoax, remember? They’re furious at bars being shut down and are still gathering for church and fun like it’s a political test of faith. There’s also a lot of long distance movement you won’t see in cities – it’s nothing to drive dozens of miles regularly or even hit up another state for things you need.

    As someone who lives in a rural area…. I’m going to disagree. Our churches closed on their own. Our bars have been shut down for a while. Nobody’s hanging around outside them (that’s happening in Milwaukee, however–our mosr urban area in the state). People are going for walks, but staying far from each other (we’re used to having conversations from porch to porch) The bank lobbies are closed. People are going to the liquor store, but they’re practicing social distancing when there in there. Anyone that can is working from home (which is what farmers do, anyway).

    “Rural” != “dumb hick fundamentalist”. And in Wisconsin, we take the flu very seriously–so we’re definitely taking this seriously.

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  46. Teve says:

    A friend on Facebook:

    Here’s what’s happening in Congress right now. Democrats are trying to structure a stimulus package that has guardrails preventing all the cash from simply going into executive compensation and stock buybacks, instead of into the hands of people who are wondering where their next meal is coming from.

    This is what’s most nauseating about American-style capitalism: without those guardrails, that’s exactly what will happen. $1.8 trillion in stimulus will end up going to executive compensation and stock buybacks, in the midst of the worst public health crisis in a century.

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  47. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Cuomo says the Federal Government is sending 400 ventilators to NY.
    When this thing peaks, in 14-21 days, Cuomo says they will need 30,000 ventilators.
    Ford says they can build 1000 ventilators a month in partnership with the UAW, GE, and 3M.

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  48. Michael Cain says:

    “We’re going to attempt to slow the spread of the serious complications rather than the spread of the disease overall by really isolating those most likely to experience the complications before they’re exposed: the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, etc.” is a strategy that might work while leaving the economy largely untouched. Of course, that’s not what is being proposed. And it’s quite possibly too late to start trying it now.

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  49. Joe says:

    I have far more confidence that the initial policy makers who considered a shut down weighed the economic impacts than I have that the current policy makers considering the economic impacts have weighed the impacts of less social distancing.

    It is galling to me that the administration is now discussing the economic impacts of shut down like this is a newly encountered problem that no one took into the initial evaluation. If it’s true that they didn’t, that’s a pretty serious error. If they did, then no one should act like that impact was not considered in the choice to shut down.

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  50. Scott says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Math doesn’t look good, does it?

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  51. Kathy says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    In one of his books, Yuval Noah Harari calls economic growth a religion, but fails to go in depth into the idea.

    Economic growth means producing more goods and providing more services this year than last year. Partly this is an end in itself, but more importantly it’s necessary to keep up with a growing population.

    There are around 7.8 billion people alive today. There were around half as many fifty years ago (wow!) If we produced food, clothes, houses, cars, planes, etc. at 1970 levels, we’d be impoverished, and a sizable fraction of the population would starve.

    But eventually the population will stop growing, and even go down (it’s happening in some European countries already). What happens then? Naturally growth slows down, and eventually it stops. If the population goes down enough, say back to like 5 billions over the next century or so, then growth will become negative. There’s no use producing X million tons of what, if the global market only demands 4/5 X million tons, right?

    The other option is to expand elsewhere. To space, for instance. Whether the global population stabilizes at a lower number or not, we’ll eventually run low, or short, or out, of certain resources. We could then get some of them, if not all, from space. From asteroids, the Moon, mars, the moons of the gas giants, maybe form Mercury as well. Eventually people will live out there, and faced with room to expand, they will.

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  52. Pylon says:

    I suspect no older politician talking about sacrifice thinks it’s going to be them personally. And I also think they aren’t worried about their grandchildren – they are thinking about their own wealth, and that of their friends in large corporations.

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  53. Scott F. says:

    “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF”

    Has Trump ever offered a better example of the kind of “deep thinking from the loud guy at the end of the bar” that he is known for than this tweet?

    With absolutely no terms defined or quantified, this is just a bunch of hot air trying to pass as a cost vs. benefit argument. It’s what smart looks like for dumb people.

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  54. Nightcrawler says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    1) You’re making this decision not just for yourself, but for other people, including people who haven’t had anywhere near “70 good years.” Like the 12-year-old victim who’s on a ventilator right now.

    2) You’re not really willing to sacrifice, because as soon as you have trouble breathing, you’re going to call 911 and demand to be transported to the hospital, where you will take up valuable and scarce resources.

    Hey, if you want to off yourself for the glory of capitalism, Trump, and country, you go right ahead. But go stand in front of a train, eat a gun, or string yourself up. Don’t take anyone else with you.

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  55. Barry says:

    “And agree with Trump’s implicit argument that this is ultimately a political decision that involves balancing the risks associated with two really awful eventualities and not one where we can simply defer to “the experts.” ”

    That would be an implicit argument from a person who has demonstrated intellectual honesty.

    Trump is not that person.

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  56. Nightcrawler says:

    @Slugger:

    I’m in my 40s, but I also have preexisting conditions that leave me susceptible to severe complications. From what I understand, once a COVID patient is put on a vent, it’s game over. Rarely do those patients come back, and even when they do, they end up wishing they hadn’t. I don’t want to live with severe lung damage. That’s not living. I fear for the kind of life that 12-year-old will wake up to, if that poor child wakes up.

    So if I get infected, I’m not even going to seek medical care. I will stay home and die. This is the choice I have made — but I have made it only for myself. I wish COVID patients had the choice of humane euthanasia. A choice, not a mandate.

    I would never demand that others make the same choice I have. I would never tell the parents of that 12-year-old that they should take their child off the vent. Frankly, if it were my child, I wouldn’t know what to do; I would only hope that I would be aware of what my child would have wanted, even if my child wanted something quite different than what I did. When it’s not my life, it’s not my choice.

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  57. Nightcrawler says:

    @Michael Cain:

    For that to work, we would need mass testing so that we could determine who is truly at risk. Seniors appear to be most at risk, but now, about half of hospitalized patients are under 50. Children appear to be at lowest risk, but there’s a 12-year-old patient with no known risk factors.

    We don’t yet know enough about the disease or how it’s transmitted to take anything less than a scorched-earth approach. We lack the data we desperately need to make educated decisions.

    I’ve been sharing this article a lot lately. Excerpt:

    At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.

    You want to save the economy? Start with testing everyone, or as close to everyone as we can.

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  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Nightcrawler: As a parent who has stood over my 5 yo son’s blood spattered gurney I can tell you what I did. I prayed to a God I knew didn’t exist to take me instead. Not because I thought it would do any good, but because I was going to leave no stone unturned.

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  59. Chip Daniels says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Yes,this.
    It’s insulting, frankly, to be asked to evaluate Trump’s comments, any of them, the way we evaluate actual politicians. To think of them in terms of thoughtful strategy or adherence to some political ideology or principle or ideas insults the very notion.

    He is a profoundly stupid person; Not an evil mastermind, but merely stupid and self absorbed and impulsive.

    Caligula it’s said, appointed his horse as consul to show his contempt for the institutions of Rome; The Republicans replaced Obama with Trump to show their scorn for democracy and the rule of law.

    That is…Trump is not Caligula; Trump is the horse.

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  60. James Knauer says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That will never be your decision to make for anyone but you. To a person living aged 70, there’s a good chance they will make it to 100. Who are you to demand they pay 30 years so you can go shopping and gamble with your retirement savings?

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  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    That is…Trump is not Caligula; Trump is the horse.

    Thanx for the chuckle. I needed it.

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  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via TPM:

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: I have found a way to live with the logical fallacy of being both pro-life and pro-@NRA.
    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Hold my beer. https://t.co/Y4VqKiXXkc
    — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 24, 2020

    2010: Conservatives freak out over “death panels.”
    2020: Conservatives endorse reality version of “Logan’s Run.” pic.twitter.com/7SiDNL7VrM
    — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) March 24, 2020

    We’ve sure come a long way from “Obamacare will kill our nation’s cherished seniors” to “Okay we need the olds to die because the stock market is too low and we have an election coming up.”
    — Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 24, 2020

    This is the guy that blamed abortion for school shootings. Extremely pro-life, as long as we’re only talking about fetuses and not actual people https://t.co/ZxO4L9WRAN
    — Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) March 24, 2020

    More at the link.

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  63. Kathy says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    That is…Trump is not Caligula; Trump is the horse.

    Would that he were.

    The GOP gave us only the back end of the horse.

    BTW, we need a Trump-English dictionary. I have taken a few notes:

    Fake: any negative comments on Trump.
    Politicize: any criticism of Trump.
    We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself: I will get people killed to improve my reelection chances.

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  64. gVOR08 says:

    Actually, Trump has a feral instinct for self promotion. He didn’t order any of the shutdowns and he can’t order them ended. (Actually he maybe could. If Trump said ‘I order all governors to stop the lockdowns’, it’d be tough for Cuomo to hold out. But to do so would be to take responsibility, so Trump won’t.) As is, he’s the one championing return to normal. Not in the sense of doing anything, but in appearance. ‘It’s those blue governors and mayors holding you down. I’d make them let you up if not for those doctors and experts and other deep state elitists.’ Then when the lockdowns are, inevitably, eased in a few months, he was the one pushing for it all along.

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  65. MarkedMan says:

    Mu Yixiao: You make a good point, although I would add that rural no longer means predominantly “farmer”. People in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, etc are regularly exposed to all kinds of viewpoints and news sources regardless of where they live. Unfortunately people living in the deep Trump states don’t have the same exposure.

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    Caligula it’s said, appointed his horse as consul to show his contempt for the institutions of Rome; The Republicans replaced Obama with Trump to show their scorn for democracy and the rule of law.

    Perfectly put. Just perfect.

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  67. Michael Reynolds says:

    We now have Trump and the Republicans quite literally considering letting Americans die for profit and for Trump’s re-election.

    White evangelicals – Trump’s strongest supporters – are hoping that this is the End Times. They are hoping that millions die, that society collapses, that their enemies – liberated women, gays, blacks, Hispanics, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists – all die and spend eternity in hell being tortured.

    Trump’s business supporters think maybe it’s fine if a million Americans die – especially if they’re old, because hey, old people are not prime consumers. Corporations are lobbying Republicans to allow Covid to run through the population and kill, if it means they can show a profit at the end of the quarter.

    Trump cares only about his own money and his own re-election, so he’s perfectly willing to see old folks die off, young people die off, the entire goddamn world to die, if it means he keeps his grip on power.

    This is not rhetorical war. This is not politics. This is life and death and none of our lives here matter in the least to the GOP, to Big Business, to Evangelicals, or to Trump. Trump and his gang are looking at everyone here, all the people in comments above, and all who will join below, and thinking: Fuck ’em, let them die.

    But I’m an asshole for laughing at the prospect of Rand Paul dying. Right.

    Some of the people here are awfully slow to understand what’s happening.

    Do you nuke Hiroshima, or don’t you? No one gets through a war with clean hands and their virtue intact. Are you fighting to win? To survive? To save the lives of your loved ones? Or are you still more concerned with displaying your virtue?

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  68. Monala says:

    @DrDaveT: Your link seems broken.

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  69. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I posted this on the open thread:

    A writer at the conservative Catholic journal First Things argues that they were just kidding about life being the most sacred thing. In fact, “There is a demonic side to the sentimentalism of saving lives at any cost.”

    At the press conference on Friday announcing the New York shutdown, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “I want to be able to say to the people of New York—I did everything we could do. And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

    This statement reflects a disastrous sentimentalism. Everything for the sake of physical life? What about justice, beauty, and honor? There are many things more precious than life.

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  70. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    God forbid that we get to an Italy or Spain scenario

    Matt, that scenario is already inevitable. Our response was sufficiently pathetic and inept that we’re going to get there, at least in the first-infected areas like Washington State and NYC. The only question is whether we can avoid getting there everywhere.

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  71. DrDaveT says:

    @Monala:

    Your link seems broken.

    Crap. Thanks for letting me know. Let me try again:
    The Hammer and the Dance

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  72. Nightcrawler says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I have no idea what I would do under such a horrifying circumstance. I never had children, so I will never face that. I can’t even remember what I was thinking when I thought my husband was having a stroke (it turned out to be a massive panic attack). I do remember being more coherent after I was told I had cancer.

    It’s the sort of thing where no one really knows how they’ll react unless it actually happens, like being given a cancer diagnosis.

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  73. Mu Yixiao says:

    @James Knauer:

    Who are you to demand they pay 30 years so you can go shopping and gamble with your retirement savings?

    I have demanded no such thing. I asked what is wrong with an old person choosing to sacrifice themselves to make things better for others.

    And to all the other that somehow insist that “retirees going back to work” must equal “infecting others”: That’s a leap in logic. There are plenty of ways in which those who are working can be isolated from others. If they can’t be, then the whole point is moot.

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  74. Pylon says:

    @Chip Daniels: John Mulaney has a good bit from years ago about Trump being a horse in a hospital.

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  75. Pylon says:

    @Mu Yixiao: individuals choosing to sacrifice themselves have almost nothing to do with this debate, which is about national policy choices.

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  76. Nightcrawler says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t think you’re an asshole for laughing at Rand. I care as much about others as they do about me — no less, but not one iota more.

    I have been fully aware, for a very long time, that about half this country would like to see me dead because I was using Obamacare subsidies when I got treated for cancer. Sometimes, before the apocalypse hit, I walked around in stores wondering which of the strangers I saw wanted me dead.

    The fact that I knew something like this would eventually happen is one of the many, many reasons why I never had children. I was not going to bring someone else into this. I will do everything I can to live through this, but if I don’t, at least I know I won’t leave minor children behind.

    I’ve been told I have a “rotten attitude.” I guess people need to keep telling themselves something other than admit the apocalypse is here, and they have very little chance of surviving it.

    I know that I likely won’t survive. I’m glad that my business did really well last year, and I was able to go to cons and meet pretty much the whole cast of The X-Files. I didn’t listen to people who kept telling me to “save for retirement” and other such nonsense. I knew I had little chance of living that long. I knew, I knew, I knew. If the cancer didn’t come back and get me, something else would. I knew, I knew, I knew.

    Other people will die with big savings accounts they never had a chance to enjoy. I will die knowing I did what I wanted, as much as realistically possible, for as long as I could. The conservatives can kill me. They can throw my remains in a mass grave or mass oven. They can cut them up and leave them to the carrion birds.

    They will have my dead body, and that’s it. They will never have my obedience, and they won’t have my experiences over the past 2 years.

    They’ll also have to live in the world they created — the world where they, too, will eventually stand where I am standing now.

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  77. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @KM:
    With regard to the relative risk of rural vs. urban populations, I note that (coincidentally) JVION has just published a national COVID Community Vulnerability Map that purports to show the relative risk exposure of various areas by what looks like county.

    I know nothing about their methodology, but a quick glance at this map shows that the highest risk areas are rural and the lowest risk areas are urban. Also, note that this is conditional on infection; it does not address probability of infection or speed of spread.

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  78. KM says:

    @Pylon:
    Indeed. The org phrase from the Lt Gov was a lot like Trump’s Sir stories or overheard hipsters in coffee shops.

    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?’” Patrick said. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in. And that doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that,” he continued. “I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me… that what we care about and what we love more than anything are those children.”

    Notice the bolded part. Hypothetical situations where “someone” not the speaker is totally willing and able to do this thing the speaker advocates but don’t want to take heat for. So it’s “lots of grandparents around the country” like yep, we’re totally willing to get sick and die so our children can live in the same crap society we have now where this has become a potential option. We need to keep the economy moving so future children can face the choice to die when they’re old to keep the 1% rich. This has ZERO to do with honorable sacrifices to save lives. In fact, it’s rather insulting to the heroic older workers from Fukushima that their brave choice is being compared to keeping cruise lines afloat and the DOW from dropping any further. Those people saved the world – Trump’s and Co asking you to save their bank account.

    It’s been a week, people. Maybe two. How pathetic are we as a nation we’re willing to kill off our own because we can’t handle two weeks of inconvenience and economic hardship? Or should I say, how pathetic and cruel is the GOP that this is now becoming an article of faith (now potential policy) in LESS THEN TWO DAYS?!

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  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @inhumans99:

    …places like Mar A Lago were becoming (or basically were) flashpoints for folks to get sick.

    Places like Mar a Lago–as well as restaurants, movie theaters, taverns, churches, sports venues, gyms and other similar places–are always flashpoints for folks to get sick. It’s part of the reason that some day care places don’t allow children with the sniffles in. The difference in this case is that getting sick is much more serious than even the flu–and it’s bad enough.

    A fair amount of what we’re doing is going to look like overreaction in retrospect, but we won’t know how much until later. And conservatives are going to say “well, that wasn’t as bad as you libturds said is would be.” But they won’t be willing to admit that it was bad enough. That would be letting the libturds win.

    ETA: And while I’m here on a rant, with regard to the economic damage what ever happened to the saying “it’s only money, we can make it back?”:

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  80. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t know what to make of McConnell at this point.

    He’s turned into Mr. Pissy Pants…the poor dear…this crowd does phony self-righteous indignation better than anyone else…

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  81. SKI says:

    @Monala:

    A writer at the conservative Catholic journal First Things argues that they were just kidding about life being the most sacred thing. In fact, “There is a demonic side to the sentimentalism of saving lives at any cost.”

    As several Rabbis noted, saving lives isn’t “sentimentalism”, it is ethics.

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’ve had 70 good years, I’m willing to sacrifice in order to minimize the damage.”?

    First, its a false choice. Your “sacrifice” wouldn’t minimize the damage. it would more than likely increase the damage.

    Second, it presumes that the lives of older humans don’t have much value.

    Third, it is one thing to self-sacrifice. It is another to command that someone else sacrifice. Worse, it isn’t sacrifice to save someone else’s life. It is a command to die in order to save someone’s else’s standard of living. It is profoundly immoral and depraved. It represents a sick worldview that prioritizes wealth over lives.

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  82. Michael Cain says:

    @DrDaveT: If you expand the view far enough, it goes down well below county level. At least in my county. My neighborhood is rated “low” on the risk for serious complications. OTOH, cross the irrigation ditch into one of the older neighborhoods and the risk rating goes up a lot. All within inner-ring suburban zip codes with population densities on the edge of what’s considered urban.

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  83. DrDaveT says:

    It looks like we have a new loser in the international “who is worst at containment?” sweepstakes. Turkey is now over 1000 identified cases, and over the past 10 days the number of cases has been doubling daily. Even the US has only been doubling every 2.5 to 3 days.

    Caveat: I have no idea how much of Turkey’s growth in confirmed cases is due to increased testing. The daily doubling is very steady.

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  84. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    but a quick glance at this map shows that the highest risk areas are rural and the lowest risk areas are urban.

    Because it’s not showing risk of infection.

    Identification of the populations at risk for severe outcomes once infected

    People in rural areas are less likely to have access to high-quality medical care, have fewer resources for other aid, and (this is a guess) are probably older. Milwaukee is going to be able to care for people better than Rhinelander or Xionia.

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  85. Teve says:

    @Pylon: such a good bit!

    https://youtu.be/JhkZMxgPxXU

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  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Nightcrawler:

    It’s the sort of thing where no one really knows how they’ll react unless it actually happens,

    Nope, nobody know what they will do until it happens, and each time is unto it’s own. 2 winters ago that same son got run over by a truck on an icy Pontchartrain Bridge. My first news of it was he went into the ambo unresponsive. I just figured he was dead, and my whole being shut down. I felt absolutely nothing, I was void.

    An hour later I got a call from his wife saying he was talking when he went in and doing fine at the ER, but that his leg was a mess.

    It was safe to feel again, to be afraid, to be relieved, to be hopeful…. to be.

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  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Hospital beds are scarce out here. When I got blood clots the first time they couldn’t wait to send my ass to STL where they had a proper ICU.

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  88. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    That is…Trump is not Caligula; Trump is the horse.

    With apologies to others, this may truly be the best thing that I read on outsidethebeltway this year.

    So good, so specific, so right.

    I took a screenshot on my mobile and tweeted it out… Not that anyone will read it, as I am but an old man shouting at clouds.

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  89. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Because it’s not showing risk of infection.

    Yes, I said that in my original comment where I posted the link.

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  90. 95 South says:

    @Nightcrawler: I didn’t support Obamacare. But I don’t wish you dead. I wish they’d passed something better and still hope they replace it.

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  91. 95 South says:

    You know what else, gang? While you’re wishing people dead, someone who calls himself “Nightcrawler” just displayed most of the warning signs of a spree killer, and he got 5 likes. Reread that comment and try to count the red flags, then google “injustice collector”. I almost wonder if he’s trolling. If he’s not, you must realize that you’re encouraging him.

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  92. An Interested Party says:

    I have been fully aware, for a very long time, that about half this country would like to see me dead because I was using Obamacare subsidies when I got treated for cancer.

    I don’t think that many people would like to see you dead because you had access to something that they disagreed with ideologically…but, at the same time, if those people had their way, you and many others might not be alive today…

    I wish they’d passed something better and still hope they replace it.

    Who will be the “they” replacing it and what would be something better?

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  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South: I’m not sure where you’re getting “warning signs of a spree killer” from in that message. I read a post from a woman (I presume–in another post in the thread she talked about her husband having a stroke) who has some residual resignation to fate from having had cancer treatment (that she, apparently, wouldn’t have gotten without Obamacare). As a long term asthmatic and current COPD patient, I understand the resignation just fine myself. Of course, your perception will differ from mine and that’s okay as far as I’m concerned. I’m perfectly happy with you having an overreaction if you need to, and will bid you vaya con Dios.

    As to your sadness about people who are wishing ill toward Rand Paul, I also empathize with that. I feel much the same sadness, though probably not with your sense of outrage over it. I will allow the distinction that I, too, would feel no particular sorrow should he become seriously ill because of his folly, but as I’ve noted before, I’m not as good a person as I (or God for that matter) would like me to be. I agree that wishing him dead or hoping that he dies is over the top. It’s bad form to wish for people what you don’t want for yourself. Karma is a beyotch still in all, but that street runs both ways.

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  94. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: Trump and the Republicans, duh. Trump said the Republican plan would cover more people, and better, and cheaper. They must just be waiting for the right time to present it, is all.

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  95. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: Oh, I know who the “they” are…I just want to hear from all these people who don’t like the ACA who the “they” are and what “they” are going to replace it with…

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  96. Sleeping Dog says:

    @95 South:

    I didn’t support Obamacare. But I don’t wish you dead. I wish they’d passed something better and still hope they replace it.

    Like Medicare for all who want it.

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  97. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Who will be the “they” replacing it and what would be something better?

    Magic ponies for everyone!

    Most who complain about how bad the ACA is, say that only because other’s have told them it is. They don’t know why or how it is bad, just that they have been told it is. They have no idea what they would replace it with because those same people have never told them what they would replace it with.

    I haven’t forgotten how “repeal and replace” was never anything but “repeal” because Repubs never could come up with anything acceptable, affordable, and workable, to replace it with.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’m not sure where you’re getting “warning signs of a spree killer” from in that message

    From where the sun never shines.

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  98. 95 South says:

    Right, of course there’s nothing wrong with Nightcrawler. I made it all up.

    But you know, I’m a Republican, and I sometimes walk around thinking how many people want me dead, and I will treat them no better than they treat me. I’ve always known that the End Times would occur within my life, one of the many reasons I never had kids. I knew, I knew, I knew. People tell me I have a bad attitude, but they say it as a defense shield because the End Times are here. I don’t care if I die. The liberals can kill me but they’ll never defeat me, because one day they’ll die too.

    Do you see it now?

    ReplyReply
  99. Nightcrawler says:

    someone who calls himself “Nightcrawler” just displayed most of the warning signs of a spree killer, and he got 5 likes. Reread that comment and try to count the red flags, then google “injustice collector”. I almost wonder if he’s trolling. If he’s not, you must realize that you’re encouraging him.

    OMG I can’t stop laughing!

    ReplyReply

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