ECLECTIC RANT:On Reopening the Economy

Ralph E. Stone
Thursday May 21, 2020 - 05:10:00 PM

Trump was alerted about COVID-19 in January and February but did not acknowledge its seriousness until March. He refused to take charge of the war against the virus, deferring instead to the states, and then continually undermined their efforts. Now he is quitting while he’s behind by encouraging the abandonment of state shelter-in-place orders. 

According to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers, if the U.S. has enacted social-distancing measures a week earlier than it did — in early March rather than mid-March — about 36,000 fewer Americans would have died. That’s more than one-third of the current death toll, which is rapidly approaching 100,000. If the measures had been taken two weeks earlier, on March 1, the death toll would be 54,000 lower. 

For Trump it's strictly reelection politics now. There is no need for him to appear concerned about the public’s health and welfare. Empathy was never a Trump strong suit. His Republican enablers in Congress, red state governors, and his witting and unwitting followers are following lockstep behind him. 

Remember, however, we are only at the beginning of the pandemic and as of May 21, we already have more than 1.58 million reported cases of COVID-19 and over 93,000 dead — and growing. The expected number of deaths is projected to reach 100,000 by June 1. What will the death rate look like when a vaccine is found and administered? 

Politics has indeed trumped science (PUN intended).