While it is by no means the overwhelming opinion of Republicans or Conservatives in general, the argument seems to stem from a war mentality strain that emerged during the Coronavirus crisis. And as President Donald Trump approaches the end of his 15-day call for social distancing, this is a philosophy that could affect White House decision-making. Trump is known to be guided by a number of conservative experts who deviate from the mainstream radar.
“The way people talk sounds a lot like the populist nationalism that made up the wave that Trump first rode to nominate Republicans and then to the White House because it’s formulated to speak about the common good – with the exception of the common good, it is really good that the country’s bottom line is successful, ”said Seth Mandel, editor-in-chief of the conservative Washington Examiner, in an interview.
Public health executives have warned that easing current social distance measures, particularly until mid-April, as Trump signaled, could allow the coronavirus to embed itself in new communities and spread even faster in existing breeding grounds. Hospitals are already concerned about the lack of medical equipment and the limited availability of beds, and further exacerbation of the situation would completely overwhelm the healthcare system.
In recent days, however, more right-wing commentators have argued that the health care costs for coronavirus containment, the researchers say say has now made more than 80,000 Americans sick and killed more than 1,000, is not worth the irreparable economic cost to the US financial system of keeping millions unemployed. Last week alone, over 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits and brought the dire situation home.
Older Americans tend to earn more money than their younger counterparts and are more likely to be in leadership positions, making them the main drivers of the country’s economy. Older Americans are also at greater risk of dying or showing severe symptoms if they become infected with the coronavirus.
Smaller, more traditionally conservative websites like The Federalist were launched items The economic decline of social distancing could ruin people’s lives so that “[p]Probably almost everyone would be willing to live a somewhat shorter normal life than a slightly longer one under the current conditions. “The site even advocated solutions like hosting “Chickenpox parties” Exposing children to the novel coronavirus to boost herd immunity – an article that Twitter has quickly suspended to promote scientific misinformation.
It is not an argument made only by strict nationalist conservatives.
R. R. Robin, editor of the religious magazine First Things, suggested that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statement that he would do anything to save lives was “demonic” in nature.
“Satan prefers sentimental humanists,” he wrote, calling the New York City mass shutdown a sign that political and religious leaders had “signals”[ed] through their actions that they too accept the rule of death. “
Variations on this sentiment have found fans among more popular conservative experts and even some prominent politicians. Radio presenter Glenn Beck, the former star of Fox News, said this week that he “would rather die” than kill the economy.
“I would rather have my children stay at home and we all over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working even if we all get sick,” he said during his Tuesday radio panel. “I would rather die than kill the country because it is not the economy that dies, but the country.”
And Dan Patrick, Lt. Texas governor, himself a former radio talk show host, argued on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show that older Americans would willingly sacrifice themselves to keep the economy going and prevent the country from slipping into depression.
“Let’s live again, let’s be smart, and those of us over 70 will take care of ourselves,” said Patrick.
Fox News anchor Brit Hume later called the theory “a completely reasonable point of view.”
Matt Lewis, a conservative opinion columnist at Daily Beast, was not surprised that his colleagues had made the suggestion, although he warned that the vast majority of right-wing Americans, commentators, and politicians did not share the view.
“I suspect most conservatives simply think that coronavirus worries are overrated and that it might be possible to find a middle ground to save our economy and protect lives,” he said.
But this new argument, he said, played a role in a common republican stereotype: “It has long been felt that money is more important to us and that we believe in a kind of” survival of the fittest “.”
It is also a reflection of the country’s stance on the corona virus. Trump has encouraged the public to see him as the war president involved in “our historic struggle with the invisible enemy.” Heads of state and government of both parties have also urged Trump to invoke the defense-in-war manufacturing law, which allows the federal government to redirect factories to address the lack of equipment.