“There is no amount of money that can offset losses of the magnitude we face when it spans several weeks,” the article said. “If this government shutdown continues for much longer than a week or two, the human cost of job losses and bankruptcies will be greater than most Americans have suggested.”
The Trump administration has stressed that two weeks of strict social distancing will help avoid an overwhelming number of hospital patients who are already struggling with resource constraints. Trump’s advisors have announced that they will reassess these guidelines later this month.
However, in recent days there have been signs that the situation is deteriorating in severely affected areas, including California and New York. Both states have placed home stay orders, and other states such as Connecticut, New Jersey and Illinois are following suit. Healthcare professionals are also looking for basic medical equipment such as masks to protect themselves – a deficiency that the Trump administration has promised to remedy.
More persistent Trump supporters claim that the media and Democrats are still putting strong pressure on Trump to bring the economy to a complete standstill, even if other countries take similar steps and republican governors introduce economic restrictions that are almost identical to those of democratic governors.
Conservative commentator Candace Owens initially urged vulnerable older people to quarantine instead of closing bars and restaurants – a claim that health officials warn is dangerous because it ignores the fact that people of all ages are critically ill with the disease .
“Life doesn’t mean you can live forever,” said Owens said During a periscope stream on March 16, the “mass hysteria” surrounding the coronavirus described a media-driven “social experiment” that showed how much personal freedom people – especially alleged conservatives of small governments – would lose during a crisis.
“The majority of Americans don’t respond that you think they should act because they’re scared,” she said. “And if you believe in freedom, freedom doesn’t suddenly stop when you’re scared.”
Some American voters, especially those who have campaigned for Trump in the past three years, agree.
“We’re Americans, right? We don’t live in a communist country, nor do we have to stay inside,” said Katie Williams, a Las Vegas woman who ran for Clark County school board, citing Owens as an influence
Williams accused the media and liberals of getting things this far.
“I mean, we’re just one step away from communism at this point, you know?” She said. “With this media hype about the corona virus, I believe that many more democratic politicians, local politicians, are trying to turn this agenda into communist rule.”
Williams’ comment went viral last week when she launched a snarky tweet directed at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, despite the popular progressive’s request that people no longer go to restaurants.
“I just went to a crowded robin and I’m 30,” tweeted Williams. “It was delicious and I took my sweet time to eat my food. Because that’s America. And I will do what I want. “
Williams does not believe that her tweet has endangered public health.
“I do not have it. I haven’t been exposed to anyone who has it, ”she said to POLITICO. “I don’t have any elderly people within 10 feet of where I would go. And when people said, “You’re irresponsible, you’re out there and spreading it.” I said, “I can’t spread it if I don’t have it.”
Health officials opposed this logic and warned that younger people may not realize that they are infected and contagious.
Still, Williams said that her tweet was only intended to underline the hypocrisy of Ocasio-Cortez’s statement days ago that “racism” is behind people who avoid Chinese restaurants after the disease has occurred in China.
To this point, the Trump administration has taken several steps to keep Americans afloat during the crisis, postpone the tax filing deadline, and suspend payments for federal student loans for 60 days. The White House is also negotiating a massive stimulus package that could exceed $ 2 trillion and could include corporate loans and one-time payments to people.
In a comment to POLITICO, a spokesman for the Trump campaign pointed to recent surveys that the public largely agreed with Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. “President Trump has set fire to the American economy once. He is clearly the leader in restoring our position once we have overcome this crisis. Joe Biden would undo all the hard work that the economy has built up, ”they said.
For Trump voters and the broader universe of people who support Trump in general, the tug of war between acting in the interests of public health and American financial security is likely to become even stronger.
“People differ in terms of the severity of the crisis and the economic cost,” said Reaboi. “It’s a real problem. If you don’t take this balance seriously, you’re an idiot.”