Conservatives are fed up with social distancing to slow the coronavirus. After days of them demanding a fixed date for the end of the COVID-19 crisis, Donald Trump basically endorsed their demands on Sunday night.
On Friday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) penned a National Review piece called “America Needs a Date Certain.” In it, he wrote that “our government’s response has put thousands of American businesses on the brink of insolvency, and millions are now jobless” and predicts that this will “only continue unless the government provides certainty of action.”
“The most important thing we need to do — right now — is to announce a date to signal our economic restart, get folks back to work, and build the confidence we need to get capital flowing,” Roy demanded. “Perhaps that date should be around April 1. Perhaps it should be April 15. In consultation with our nation’s health experts, the federal government must announce a date within the coming weeks, no later.”
His fellow Texas Republican, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, endorsed the call, tweeting Friday, “We MUST do everything in our power to provide a reasonable, health-informed, date for when Americans can safely return to regular economic activity in their communities.”
An array of conservative media commentators spent the weekend echoing the demand.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted Friday, “The uncertainty for businesses, parents and kids is just not sustainable.” On Monday, she added, “Even another week of this will mean millions more out of work, massive damage to businesses big and small, rental incomes, families at every income level, horrific pain and suffering. But if we knew this was almost over, recovery would be easier.”
Conservative columnist Josh Hammer tweeted Sunday, “This will not end well for capitalism. It will not end well for the rule of law. It will not end well for republican self-governance. Unless it is all shepherded to an end quickly and efficiently, as soon as is remotely feasible.”
And former Trump adviser Gary Cohn asked, “Is it time to start discussing the need for a date when the economy can turn back on?”
Late Sunday night, Donald Trump joined in.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!” he tweeted.
He followed his own tweet with a series of retweets of supporters agreeing that everyone should get back to normal in 15 days.
With testing still at a minimum in the United States and not everyone practicing social distancing, epidemiologists have no idea when the crisis will actually start to slow.
The surgeon general predicted on Monday, “This week, it’s going to get bad.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore