In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo this week, President Donald Trump said he believes that blue state Democrats have a vested political interest in keeping the economy shut down long past the point where it makes viable sense from a public health perspective. Asked by Bartiromo if his political enemies are trying to use the coronavirus pandemic as a weapon against his presidency, Trump said there was no doubt about it.
“I do,” he said. “I do. I think it’s a political thing.”
When Bartiromo asked if reopening the economy risked putting money ahead of American lives, Trump explained that he had experts on his side.
“The people that want to see the right thing happen, they agree with me,” Trump said. “We have to get our country open. You know, if it was up to some people let’s keep it closed for a long time, and watch the United States go down the tubes. Not gonna happen. Never gonna happen on my watch.”
Trump was also critical of remarks Dr. Anthony Fauci made when testifying before the Senate Health Committee earlier in the week. While Fauci declined to say specifically whether or not it is a good idea to open schools back up in the fall, the viral specialist did say that it was unlikely that a vaccine would be ready in time – thus casting doubts on the wisdom of getting kids back to school.
“So Anthony is a good person, a very good person – I’ve disagreed with him,” Trump said. “We have to get the schools open, we have to get our country open, we have to open our country. Now we want to do it safely, but we also want to do it as quickly as possible, we can’t keep going on like this. You’re having bedlam already in the streets, you can’t do this. We have to get it open. I totally disagree with him on schools. I think we have to open our schools, young people are very little affected by this.”
Of course, at this point, it doesn’t much matter what Trump says, what Fauci says, what Gretchen Whitmer says, or what Brian Kemp says. The country is slowly (and cautiously) reopening, and the story of what happens next will be written in the results – not the predictions. It is an experiment worth trying, though, because to sit in our homes and let businesses go under, workers go unpaid, and people go hungry…well, that’s not a solution at all. We have to take the risk. We have to take the chance.
Where we go from there? The next weeks and months will show us.