Think it was a hard call for the Trump administration to shut down the U.S. economy? Well, suggests Kimberley Strassel in the WSJ, you haven’t seen anything yet.
The left intends to make reopening it far harder, lacing it with political risk by raising the bar for “success” to fantasy heights.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed President Donald Trump during a private call with her caucus Monday, saying he (Trump) was putting Americans in grave danger if he rushes to reopen the economy at the end of this month,” reported Politico this week. The article laid out Mrs. Pelosi’s requirement: Until a robust “testing and contact tracing” system is in place, “it would be impossible for the president to guarantee Americans a safe reentry into their normal life.”
In a way, the Trump administration has become a victim of its own success, continues Ms. Strassel.
The guidelines did flatten the curve. As ugly as the outbreak has been, even New York City and other hot spots have had enough ventilators. Numerous emergency field hospitals ended up sitting empty. The lockdown has been so effective that it has allowed Mr. Trump’s political opponents to lay out a false narrative of what counts as “victory.”
The Coronavirus Battle Far from Over
The political cynicism is extraordinary. The liberal cognoscenti can read the scientific data as well as anyone; all of it makes clear this battle is far from over. While widespread testing may help, it won’t eradicate the virus. They also know even another month of lockdown, much less the year needed for a vaccine, would mean severe stress for the economy.
Reopening must go forward, and that will by necessity mean more outbreaks, more cases, more deaths. That was always going to happen in a pandemic. Yet Mrs. Pelosi sees in this moment a political opportunity to pin the blame for the natural course of a disease on the White House.