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article imageOp-Ed: Trump — 'LameStream Media' to blame for keeping country closed

By Karen Graham     Mar 26, 2020 in Politics
As Americans stay indoors for another week, President Donald Trump is getting antsy - wanting life to return to normal -- not just for the nation, but for himself. Trump wants the country open for business by April 12 - come hell or high water.
It is bad enough that our Commander-in-Chief has taken over the daily coronavirus task force briefings, sparring with reporters and declared himself a "wartime president" in a somewhat sputtering bid to accompany the nation through the crisis.
According to The Hill, on Wednesday, Trump accused the media of pushing to keep restrictions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus in an effort to hamper the economy and harm his reelection chances.
"The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success," Trump tweeted without citing specific outlets or evidence. "The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!"
Trump has taken a once in a generation global pandemic and made it into his own personal economic crisis. It is his belief that it will dictate his political future. Facing a potential recession, Trump is worried that the coronavirus pandemic could cost him his job in November, though polls have shown his approval rating largely holding steady through the crisis, according to CNN.
Trump decided this week that he wants businesses “opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” which falls on April 12. That contradicts many public health experts, including his own task force, who are warning that we must go by the raw data being gathered and medical science.
However, Trump has latched on to the notion that the cure for the pandemic should not be worse than the disease and argued that “more people are going to die if we allow this to continue” if the economy remains closed. The thing is this - Trump is giving Americans a false sense of hope.
The COVID-19 virus is totally new to humanity. We have no built-in immunity to it. We are still learning what it can do, along with how it is evolving. Not even a wartime president can guess when the so-called curve will flatten out. Bottom line? Life is not proceeding normally in the USA.
How much is a life worth?
Kenneth Feinberg, who administered the victims’ funds for the 9/11 attacks and the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, says there is an actual calculation used by the federal government for putting a dollar figure on American life.
Feinberg says it is really simple and is used in our courts. "What would the victim have earned over the course of their life at work but for the tragedy that took their life? On top of that, there is some added compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress," he said.
However, calculating the impact of this current pandemic is not that simple. “When somebody says, ‘You know the risk of the virus is not as great as the risks to everybody through a deteriorating economy,’ that’s a choice that everybody will have to make,” Feinberg said.
“It doesn’t help to save the economy if a tremendous number of people have died or fallen ill and their lives are changed forever,” said Lisa Heinzerling, who grappled with regulatory impact on the economy as the head of EPA’s policy office at the beginning of the Obama administration.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a steady voice during this health crisis, said there was no need to “choose between a smart health strategy and smart economic strategy. We can do both and we must do both.” He also points out, and quite sensibly that if restarting the economy comes too early, it could also further fuel the pandemic.
Bill Gates, a major philanthropist to global public health efforts, said in an interview that was part of a series organized by TED that “It’s very tough to say to people, ’Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner. We want you to keep spending because there’s some politician who thinks GDP growth is what really counts."
So, Mr. Trump - Just cool it on your reelection plans. Keep yourself out of the picture when we want real information from your coronavirus task force. You are not a health official.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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