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Here’s the disturbing Fox News clip that appears to have triggered one of Trump’s most dangerous tweets yet

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While the idea of social distancing as the best way to fight coronavirus pandemic has slowly been catching on, President Donald Trump appears to be on course to undermine all that, based on a truly frightening tweet he sent late Sunday night:

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The suggestion seemed to be that Trump wants to soon roll back the administration’s recommendations that Americans across the country strictly limit their in-person interactions with others outside of their homes. These recommendations have been superseded in many jurisdictions by stay-at-home orders, school closures, business closures, and limitations on the size of social gatherings. But if the Trump administration decides to advocate an end to social distancing, some localities may be inclined to follow suit — even though public health experts have warned that a premature cessation of the policy would be extremely dangerous.

John Whitehouse and Matthew Gertz pointed out that, as is often the case with Trump’s outrageous tweets, this outburst was apparently inspired by a disturbing segment on Fox News:

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Host Steve Hilton used the phase “cure is worse than the disease” to describe the economic impact of social distancing, echoed in Trump’s tweet, making it quite likely that he was directly inspired to send his tweet by this segment. (Though there are indications that Trump had concerns about the economic cost of social distancing prior to seeing the clip.)

The basic argument that Hilton and Trump are making is ghastly. They seem to be dismissing the potential death of millions of Americans from coronavirus because of the potential economic costs of avoiding the usual course of business.

Now, as Hilton points out, a recession triggered by the coronavirus and our attempts to keep it from spreading can itself be deadly. And this is certainly true; the death toll and immense social costs of recession are always worth taking seriously. But the government can and should do a lot through fiscal policy to mitigate the costs of the recession so that Americans don’t need to suffer the financial burden as much. It doesn’t seem Congress is yet prepared to marshal the resources needed to adequately fight the downturn, but that’s where ire should be directed — not at the social distancing measures.

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And as MSNBC host Chris Hayes argued on Twitter Monday, the idea that we can save the economy by unleashing the coronavirus is probably entirely misguided in the first place.

“[If] you stopped lockdowns, and sent everyone back to work, lots and lots of people would get sick. You’d have workplaces where half the staff were out. And this would roll through all kinds of places, people who maintain the electrical grid and water treatment and sewage systems, etc… Not only that, as the hospitals filled up and horror stories emerged, you’d have tons of deaths from things other than Covid-19 that couldn’t get treated. This would make [people] more scared of getting the bug and lead to further retreat,” he wrote. “Which is to say, even if you care about economic activity as the only value here, it’s really not clear that anything like ‘business as usual’ is even a possibility in the midst of a roaring pandemic, even if you let everything stay open.”

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He added: “In fact, you risk ending up with the worst of both worlds: mass death and sickness AND ALSO an economy that’s essentially shut down.”

 

 


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‘They don’t understand what it means to be American’: Ex-Pentagon chief blasts White House

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany explained Wednesday that President Donald Trump went to St. John's Church with his Bible because it's what former President George W. Bush did after Sept. 11 and what Winston Churchill did during World War II. The problem, of course, being that protesters demanding an end to police brutality aren't the same as Al-Qaeda or the Nazis and it's police killing unarmed Americans, not Black Lives Matter.

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‘Comically ridiculous’: Kayleigh McEnany sparks outrage by comparing Trump to Winston Churchill

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At Wednesday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany compared President Donald Trump's church photo-op stunt to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspecting bombing damage during the Nazi raids in World War II.

Kayleigh compares the President’s photo op to Churchill inspecting bombing damage pic.twitter.com/KP5ovHMYzI

— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 3, 2020

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Team Trump ‘running for cover’ after attempt to crack down on protests results in ‘humiliation’: conservative columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Wednesday, columnist Jennifer Rubin writes that the "tear-gassing of peaceful protesters, the debasement of St. John’s Episcopal Church, the wholly inappropriate participation of the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the goose step across Lafayette Square" were actually President Trump's way of compensating for reports that he retreated to an underground bunker when protesters got close to the White House.

Rubin points to Trump's claim that he went to the bunker for an "inspection." But according to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, he had no idea where Trump and the rest of his entourage were going.

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