Donald Trump was adamant in stating that, if a second wave of the coronavirus hits the United States, he won’t shut the economy down again.
CNBC reported on the president’s visit to a Ford plant in Michigan.
“People say that’s a very distinct possibility, it’s standard,” Trump said when asked about a second wave during a tour of a Ford factory in Michigan.
“We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country,” Trump said. “We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.”
This bug is a persistent little pest. It spreads very easily from person to person, indicating several different ways someone can become infected. And with so many people walking around who have it but don’t know it and don’t feel it, it’s not just going to disappear any time soon.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told The Washington Post this week that he has “no doubt” there will be new waves of cases.
“The virus is not going to disappear,” he told Post. “It’s a highly transmissible virus. At any given time, it’s some place or another. As long as that’s the case, there’s a risk of resurgence.”
Fauci is an infectious disease expert and a public health official. If it were up to him and the vast majority of public health professionals, the people would be locked in their homes and almost all businesses would be shuttered. It worked in China. It won’t work here.
Trump may want the country to remain open when the second wave of infections arrives, but ultimately, the decisions are the governors’ to make. And no governors are going to cut their own throats by shuttering their economies while their next-door neighbors are open for business. So, once the U.S. reopens for business completely, there’s very little chance we’ll return to a lockdown situation.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be regional or local lockdowns in response to an outbreak. But Trump is right. With adequate testing available, there’s no reason to shut the whole country down.
There is going to be enormous pressure on governors when there are spikes in infections and deaths from the virus. To Republican governors, the media will be screaming about them not caring about people dying. We’re already seeing the beginnings of that narrative play out in Georgia and Florida, where GOP governors have to face stories every day about how “dangerous” their actions are.
For Trump, it plays into his re-election campaign. With the stock market booming this past week on promising news of a vaccine, the economy has a real chance of roaring back to life. While Biden sits in his basement conducting a virtual campaign, Trump has already begun to hit the trail. Soon, his signature rallies will begin and the battle will be joined in earnest.