Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin explained that whether President Donald Trump wants to save the economy or not, reopening businesses amid a pandemic won’t work, it’ll just kill more Americans.
Writing Tuesday, Rubin said that the “band of obedient, red-state governors” are blindly following the president off of the political cliff.
“First, the economy is sinking into a deep, structural recession that is unlikely to recede quickly,” wrote Rubin.
She cited recent jobs numbers show 20.2 million Americans losing their jobs in April, the worst in history, while many businesses have been forced to close down for good.
The largest losses came from the service industry but manufacturing and construction weren’t far behind with 4 million job losses.
“This is a signal that big employers do not imagine the recession lifting soon. These are not mom-and-pop shops, but major employers,” said Rubin.
According to a CNBC report, Walt Disney will stop paying 100,000 employees this week, which is nearly half of the workforce.
To make matters worse, many of the American trade partners are in the same boat, so international consumers are buying less too.
“In short, there is no evidence that major employers have bought into the hype that the economy will be back in high gear in a month or so. If reopening was supposed to generate a sense of normalcy and induce employers to bring back their employees, it is not working,” wrote Rubin.
Her second reason is that the coronavirus crisis persists onward whether Trump and the Republican Party wants it to or not.
“New confirmed infections per day in the U.S. exceed 20,000, and deaths per day are well over 1,000, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University,” the Associated Press reported. “And public health officials warn that the failure to flatten the curve and drive down the infection rate in places could lead to many more deaths — perhaps tens of thousands — as people are allowed to venture out and businesses reopen.”
Extreme social-distancing has helped in the states that were able to implement it, but many other states in the country have ignored warnings. If New York is removed from the rate of new COVID-19 cases, the U.S. is still on the rise, from 6.2 per 100,000 to 7.5.
Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) learned this week that his great reopening did exactly what people warned it would: overwhelm the healthcare system.
In the city of Gainesville, the medical system is facing significant strain under the weight of an expanding outbreak that has hammered workers at local poultry processing plants.
According to WABE, “per-capita infection rates in Gainesville’s Hall County and in nearby Habersham County are now in the top 10% of counties statewide,” and Gainseville is “quickly becoming one of the state’s most affected areas.”
Meat processing plants have accounted for huge outbreaks in rural areas. Guymon, Oklahoma’s poultry plant caused an outbreak in a town with more cases among lower populations. One South Dakota town was overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases that all connected back to the pork plant there.
“In sum, the recession is well underway, and the pandemic shows no sign of abatement. The likely result of premature openings without a robust system for testing, tracking and isolating cases is more deaths — and further economic pain,” Rubin closed.