We've seen this vaguely bantered about for a few days with some suggesting that we should take a cost/benefit approach to how many lives we're willing to save in order to accept the drop in markets, but such discussions entered a new level yesterday as the president stated that he would take such measures to soothe the economy.
President Donald Trump on Monday said he planned to pull the U.S. economy out of its coronavirus-induced slumber in a matter of weeks, and refused to commit to following the advice of his handpicked health experts — many of whom have warned that it will be a matter of months before it will be safe to reopen the country again — when reassessing guidelines for social isolation.
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down. This is not a country that was built for this,” Trump insisted to reporters during a White House press briefing with his coronavirus task force on Monday evening, predicting that “America will again and soon be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting.”
The president complained that he didn’t want to let the “cure” to the fast-spreading pandemic — social isolation that has prompted the shuttering of businesses across the country and cratered the economy — to be worse than the disease itself. He even claimed, without evidence, that the economic downturn caused by continuing the social distancing recommendation could result in more deaths “than anything we are talking about with respect to the virus.”
Trump very strongly hinted that he planned to ease federal guidance on social distancing at the end of his administration’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative, which ends next Monday, despite an expected explosion of reported cases as tests for coronavirus become more widely available.
Governor Dan Patrick, in an interview I'm sure most of your have seen by now, echoed these sentiments expressing that the elderly would be willing to die to save the economy.
Tx Lt Gov Dan Patrick says grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren pic.twitter.com/wC3Ngvtsbj— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) March 24, 2020
Since this idea is now a real possibility at either the national or state level, what are your thoughts on it? Should we allow the disease to spread normally in order to boost the economy?