Trump understands the current lockdown is economically and politically unsustainable

Marc Thiessen:

President Trump enjoys 60 percent approval for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but that has not stopped his critics from trying to stoke public outrage at his expense.

After the president expressed hope that the anti-malaria drug chloroquine was showing signs of success as a treatment for the coronavirus, news organizations tried to blame him for the death of an Arizona man who self-medicated with fish tank solvent that contained a different form of the substance. “Man dies after taking drug touted as coronavirus treatment by Trump,” CBS News declared. No, he didn’t. Trump never suggested anyone self-medicate with aquarium cleaner…

Trump effectively ordered a recession — asking businesses to close and workers to stay home — to slow the spread of the virus so that public health officials could learn how it behaves, develop our testing capability and increase the production of protective gear, ventilators and hospital capacity for the hardest-hit areas, as well as the development of therapeutics to treat it.

But over time, as we get a handle on the outbreak, we need to start adjusting our decision-making to balance risk with the massive toll the lockdown is taking on the American people. While journalists can telework, millions of Americans who can’t are losing their careers and the businesses they spent a lifetime building. A prolonged economic shutdown will lead to deaths as well, in the form of increased rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide.

The president understands that we need a sustainable strategy to defeat the virus and that the current lockdown is unsustainable. A record 3.28 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and economists warn that gross domestic product could decline by about 30 percent in the second quarter as a result of the lockdown. That can’t continue indefinitely.

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