President Donald Trump is reportedly itching to ditch social distancing measures that have been put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus so that he can "restart" the economy and get people back to work.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes, however, argues that not only would this unnecessarily cost people their lives, it could also make the economy even worse than it is right now.
"So just think of the economics of this: if you stopped lockdowns, and sent everyone back to work, lots and lots of people would get sick," he writes. "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."
In other words, Hayes argues, just pretending that economic life will go on as normal during a pandemic will not work even if you totally discount the humanitarian consequences of such a policy.
"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," he concludes.