The test for those who want to reopen the economy too soon: You go first

Ryan P. Williams, the head of the previously well-respected and now crackpotish Claremont Institute, tweeted this past week in response to enforcement of social distancing and stay-at-home mandates: “It’s time for resistance to this insanity.” Claremont is based in California, the earliest instigator of a statewide stay-at-home order that is credited with keeping the number of pandemic cases to a bare minimum.

President Trump imagines he alone will decide when to reopen the country for business, although he has no constitutional, statutory or practical ability to do so. He insists, contrary to the advice of public health officials, that we can get back to work regardless of whether we have the capacity to test millions of Americans.
Not even Vice President Pence or Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agree with that. Bloomberg News reports:

Most major communities must be “at the end” of their outbreaks, said Pence, who leads the White House’s coronavirus task force. The country also should have widespread testing available, therapeutics for Americans who contract the disease, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how large and small businesses can operate safely. . . .
CDC Director Robert Redfield outlined similar criteria on Thursday during an interview with CNN. Officials, he said, need to understand the spread of the virus, strengthen public health infrastructure, prepare hospitals and other medical facilities, and foster a belief among Americans that it’s the right time to do this.
Prime-time hosts on Fox News continue to hawk Trump’s reopening message, peddling the unproven hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid-19. (Disclaimer: I am a contributor to MSNBC.) They do this despite warnings from Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that “there are other studies that show that doesn’t work at all.” If you do want to use it, he cautioned, “I would want to do it under the auspices of a clinical trial, a well-controlled clinical trial.” He added, “I have to say there is not definitive evidence that it works. And we are not quite sure yet of the toxicities because you’re using it in a different disease and you’re using it at a much higher dose.”
Unnamed business leaders (are they Trump’s sycophantic rich friends or independent, responsible executives?) apparently are pressuring the president to urge businesses to reopen in May. Nevertheless, as CNBC reports, more responsible voices such as Yossi Sheffi, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, understand that "economic issues are totally driven by public health issues. You tell me how long we will be at home and I will tell you how long it will take for the economy and supply chains to recover.” (Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley tech companies were early proponents of stay-at-home directives.)
In short, for every irresponsible and uninformed voice (including Trump’s) calling to reopen the economy, there are a cadre of independent, respected experts warning us not to take such reckless advice. Which voices will command the public’s attention?
Let me suggest a simple test for those arguing for a quick return to business as normal absent a robust testing, contact tracing and quarantine program: You go first.
Trump should cease requiring everyone who comes into his orbit to submit to a covid-19 test. After all, if it’s not important enough for all of us to have the same protection, he should feel perfectly comfortable re-engaging with those of unknown health status.
Fox hosts who recommend hydroxychloroquine should be lining up to participate in clinical tests. They can be the canaries in the coal mine. (I would not be so irresponsible as to suggest they take it outside controlled circumstances.)
Business leaders and Trump sycophants such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who push for a May reopening of the economy should be the first on the factory floors (shake every returning worker’s hand), the first to ride public transportation to and from work, and the first to pay social calls at nursing homes.'
Among the covid-19 deniers, the maniacal capitalists and the Trump campaign cheerleaders, there is far too much eagerness to expose others to dangersthat I suspect they would be entirely unwilling to undertake themselves. They should abide by a single Golden Rule of public health: Do not advocate for others what you are unwilling to do yourself. Maybe if forced to consider the risk to their own health and lives, they will act with greater care.
The test for those who want to reopen the economy too soon: You go first The test for those who want to reopen the economy too soon: You go first Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:06 Rating: 5

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