President Trump is eager to ease off of stringent coronavirus mitigation steps “soon,” he said yesterday, but that would have a calamitous impact on Americans’ health — and it’s not clear how much it would help the economy, either.
Why it matters: For now, the only way to avoid large numbers of deaths is to keep people away from each other to stop the virus’ spread. And as long as the coronavirus is spreading, it’s likely to hurt the economy.
Driving the news: “This is a medical problem. We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem,” Trump said in a press conference yesterday.
Between the lines: Missing from Trump’s rhetoric is any real acknowledgement that the situation is going to get worse in the near term.
“A policy of returning people to work too soon should be called the ‘let old people die already’ policy,“ a former Trump administration official told me.
The big picture: The number of confirmed U.S. cases is still rising at an alarming rate — and that’s not counting the thousands who have it but are unable to get tested.
Reality check: The choice between saving lives and saving the economy may not even be a real one.