The Trump administration is apparently going to make their de facto approach their actual COVID-19 message: i.e. “we don’t plan to do anything, suck it up”:
At the crux of the message, officials said, is a recognition by the White House that the virus is not going away any time soon — and will be around through the November election.
As a result, President Donald Trump’s top advisers plan to argue, the country must figure out how to press forward despite it. Therapeutic drugs will be showcased as a key component for doing that and the White House will increasingly emphasize the relatively low risk most Americans have of dying from the virus, officials said.
I urge you to read this thread from a survivor. The idea that it’s no big deal to get infected if you survive is deeply, deeply misguided (leaving aside that a “relatively low” risk still means a lot of people dying if you don’t meaningfully control the spread of the virus.) It also strikes me that the “your grandmother should be willing to die so her failgrandson can dine in at Hooters” Republican argument is in some tension with their “only old people should be able to vote safely” argument, but anyway.
Krugman is devastating on this:
Just over two weeks ago The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Vice President Mike Pence titled “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave.’” The article was supposed to reassure the nation.
What it provided, instead, was a clear illustration of the delusions and magical thinking that have marked every step of the Trump administration’s response to Covid-19, producing an epic policy disaster.
Put it this way: By now, according to Trump officials and sycophants, we were supposed to be seeing a fading pandemic and a roaring recovery. Instead, we have a fading recovery and a roaring pandemic.
Don’t be fooled by the big jobs number in Thursday’s employment report — a number that still left us down almost 15 million jobs from February. The report was a snapshot of the economy during the “reference period,” basically the second week of June. So it’s telling us what was happening before the Covid-19 surge became apparent.
We don’t have official data for what has happened since then, but a variety of real-time indicators suggest that the recovery has stalled or even gone backward. Indeed, things started falling apart even before states began reversing some of their previous moves to reopen. Fear of infection will do that: Many people will avoid going out whatever their governors may say.
It didn’t have to be this way — mass illness and death and economic depression, getting worse before it gets better, is an explicit Republican policy choice.