While times of crisis can also be opportunities for a world leader to show who they really are by offering consolation and a plan to attack the problem, Donald Trump has repeatedly shown us that he’s not capable of either of those things. He’s no good at even trying to pretend he can do it, so his strategy is to hope he can re-open the country as soon as possible and people will go back to spending and living like they always have and somehow the magic stock market he liked to tweet about will go back to the way it was.
Even Trump isn’t so delusional as to think this is actually going to happen, but he has been able to shape the GOP’s talking points pretty effectively along these lines. Trump and his allies are hoping they can force voters to choose between re-opening the country before COVID-19 plateaus or losing their jobs as the economy only gets worse, and that they’ll eventually start to blame the latter on Democrats. In a new op-ed in The Washington Post, however, Joe Biden makes clear that this is a false choice that citizens shouldn’t be forced to make.
He points out that most people are worried about restrictions being lifted too soon and that even in states that have reopened, the economy is still faltering as people are reluctant to go out. Unless public health improves, Biden points out, the economy will not. The false choice we’re being presented with is not only dishonest and dangerous, it’s also blatantly hypocritical on Trump’s part. Yes, Biden decided to go there and point out that while Donald Trump claims the U.S. doesn’t need increased testing to re-open, he and his closest staff are routinely tested – using supplies that could be given to states with test shortages.
Donald Trump probably won’t read this op-ed, but he’ll almost certainly hear of it somehow or other and we can wholly expect him to tweet about it or rant about it on TV, which is likely what the Biden campaign is waiting for.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making