On March 24, President Trump further reiterated his desire to have people getting back to work in America soon despite the spread of the coronavirus. In his message, he stated that he wanted the country to open up by Easter, which falls on April 12. While Public health experts agree that it is not safe to end social distancing measures by this time, Trump allies support this statement. They are volunteering to risk death if it helps the economy get back up from its current rapid decline.
According to the Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who will be 70 next week, he said on Monday evening during Tucker Carlson’s primetime Fox News show that his message to Americans was for them to go back to work and start living. His focus was on not ruining the American dream. In his words, “We will take care of ourselves but don’t sacrifice the country.” He ended his address by saying that he was ready to risk his life if it would keep the economy going. He said he is willing to exchange his survival to keep the America that we all love for his children and grandchildren.
The following night on Carlson’s show, Fox News commentator Brit Hume also supported the statements made by Patrick. According to the 76-year-old, Patrick was expressing a reasonable viewpoint. Right-wing commentator, 56-year-old Glenn Beck, said on his program on BlazeTV on Tuesday that he was also willing to make the sacrifice despite being in the danger zone. He reiterated that he would be ready to have all those over 50 go in to work as he would rather die than kill the country. On the flip side, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not too happy with Trump’s priorities as it is ethically questionable. According to the governor, “My mother is not expendable, and your mother is not expendable, and our brothers and sisters are not expendable, and we’re not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable, and we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life.”
As a result of the pandemic, public health experts have recommended social distancing as a way of protecting the entire population from the spread of the coronavirus. However, while the elderly have an increased risk of dying from the coronavirus, younger people who are immunocompromised are also at risk. Some teenagers have also contracted the virus. The push by Trump and his allies to have people going back to work as soon as possible to prevent an economic shutdown doesn’t put into account the shutdown of the hospital system if many more coronavirus cases overrun it. It also puts a big question on ethics, presenting a dilemma known as the trolley problem. The question is that is it justifiable to kill another person to avoid larger death numbers? While this is not a straight-up choice between mass death and a massive economic decline, it remains to be seen the decisions that will be made in subsequent weeks.