Different Takes: Reopening The Economy Must Not Involve A Fight Over Leadership That Confuses Americans; Lessons On Planning How To Return To Work When There’s No Cure
Opinion writers weigh in on these coronavirus crisis issues and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
Reopening The Economy, At Last
At long last our political leaders are considering how they can reopen the American economy they put into a destructive coma. Let’s hope this overdue process doesn’t devolve into another fight between governors and President Trump that will confuse Americans and slow the return to normal economic life. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took the lead Monday by announcing a committee of six Northeast states aimed at reopening the economy without sacrificing the gains made so far, and at such a great cost, against the coronavirus. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Delaware will each name a public-health official, an economic policy maven and the chief of staff for each Governor to the committee. (4/13)
The Washington Post:
President Trump Can’t Reopen The Country. Only We Can Do That.
Controversy over when President Trump will “reopen the country” is nothing more than another ploy to spice up his tiresome reality-show drama. Trump won’t determine when it’s safe again for us to mingle again at work and play. We will. Trump said Friday that when to restart what he called “the greatest economy ever created” will be “by far the biggest decision of my life.” He claimed Monday in a tweet that when to “open up the states . . . is the decision of the president, for many good reasons.” He pretends there is a switch and that he alone can flick it, but of course no such thing exists. This crisis is not all about him. It’s all about us. (Eugene Robinson, 4/13)
Los Angeles Times:
No, Mr. Trump, You Don’t Get To Decide When The Economy Restarts
Columnist Holman Jenkins offered an analogy in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend that captures the conundrum created by the U.S. response to COVID-19. “Imagine a problem that can be solved by holding your head underwater,” Jenkins wrote, “but stops being solved when you lift your head out.” In other words, the stay-at-home measures adopted to protect against the outbreak are damaging in their own right, and not a cure for the disease. In fact, there is no known cure, just a number of drug therapies being tested and vaccines in development. That’s why it’s so disturbing to hear President Trump assert, as he did again Monday, that he has the power to “open up the states,” presumably by lifting the restrictions on movement and commerce. (4/13)
The Washington Post:
Can We Reopen Before There’s A Cure Or A Vaccine? It Won’t Be Easy.
Expectations are running high that reopening the United States will mean returning to offices, factories and schools, kick-starting the economy and rediscovering life before the novel coronavirus pandemic. At best these alluring goals are likely to be achieved haltingly, partially, more slowly than we would like — and how haltingly will depend heavily on how well the nation undertakes a mammoth set of public health tasks. The inescapable fact is that in the absence of a vaccine or drug therapy for the next year or more, a highly infectious virus will roam the country and the world, and only strenuous actions can prevent continuing flare-ups or new explosions such as Wuhan, Bergamo or New York City. (4/13)
Coronavirus Is Accelerating The Advance Of Nationalism Over Globalization
Though a broad segment of political and media opinion continues to proclaim that the coronavirus pandemic demands a strengthening of international cooperation and multilateral institutions, the facts on the ground demonstrate that the tide of events is moving in precisely the opposite direction. The emerging reality is that individual nation-states increasingly are in the driver’s seat and being strongly supported by their populations, while multilateral institutions from the United Nations to the European Union (EU) are falling victim to their internal contradictions and a consequent inability to act quickly or decisively in the face of the global crisis. (William Moloney, 4/13)
Try As He Might, Trump Can't Spin The Pandemic
When I sat down with [Chris] Christie (virtually, of course) for the latest episode of "The Axe Files" podcast, I asked him why the President was so insistent on downplaying the burgeoning threat of Covid-19 for six critical weeks and why the Trump Administration was so slow in responding. "He always believes that by sheer force of will he can change circumstances," Christie told me. "And I think that he was like, 'OK, if I just go out there, talk this thing down, it'll come down.' I think that's what he felt at the beginning. (David Axelrod, 4/13)
ICE's Coronavirus Response Has Been 'Business As Usual.' That Puts All Of Us At Risk.
Though the federal government has repeatedly assured Americans that it is doing all it can to stop the spread of the coronavirus, one controversial agency may well be enabling its spread rather than actively participating in slowing it down, while claiming the mantle of protecting “national security.” But there is nothing more essential to the security of the American people than overcoming this immediate public health disaster — especially not institutionalized racism. (Julio Ricardo Varela, 4/13)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Leaders Must Act Now To Protect Voters During This Pandemic
No one should have to choose between their right to vote and their health. There are steps we can take to ensure access to the ballot for Missouri voters in 2020, but the time for decisive action is now. Missouri lawmakers returned to session last week. They must appropriate funds to scale up increased mail-in voting and other measures. And Missouri’s chief elections official must offer clear direction on the path forward and ensure local election authorities have the resources they need to administer what will certainly be the most unusual and challenging elections in our lifetimes. (Denise Lieberman, 4/13)
Federal Action Can Limit Impact Of COVID-19 Costs On American Businesses And Workers
The COVID-19 global pandemic poses a severe threat to health, to the economy and to our system of funding health care in the United States. Employers can play an important role in addressing the threat of this coronavirus, but we also need effective government action to save lives and to preserve the viability of businesses across the country. (Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz, 4/13)
San Francisco Chronicle:
California Must Expand Medical Support In Coronavirus Crisis
Gov. Gavin Newsom has made “meet the moment” a mantra during the coronavirus crisis. He has been impressive in pushing stay-at-home orders, acquiring protective equipment and ventilators, expanding the health care workforce, and keeping the state’s interest above egos and partisan rivalries in collaborating with the Trump White House. The next step for California would be to ensure that it is optimizing the services of the 13,000 physician assistants in the state. About 80% of the assistants work in hospitals or clinics, where the range of care they provide is often broad. (4/13)