Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in an interview with CNN Monday that Americans would “have to” accept significant numbers of deaths in order to reopen the economy, becoming the latest politician to argue that the shutdown is not worth the damage to the economy, even as the death toll is forecasted to increase. Here are the others:
During a March 23, 2020, Fox News appearance, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested that grandparents should be willing to die in order to maintain the economy for their grandchildren.
Former New York City Mayor (and President Trump’s personal lawyer) Rudy Giuliani retweeted opinions from conservative commentator Candace Owens and Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton that Americans should have “perspective” on the death toll—and, if he was still mayor, would have reopened New York City businesses by mid-April.
In order to get casinos back up and running, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said her city could be “a control case” to see whether infections would spike there while other places remain on lockdown, with critics describing her comments as “reckless” and an “embarrassment.”
Indiana Representative Trey Hollingsworth said in an April 14, 2020, radio interview that Americans going back to work despite risking exposure to coronavirus was “the lesser of two evils.”
Levi Tappan, the mayor of Page, Arizona, wrote on Facebook that he wished Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez “would battle alcoholism as hard as COVID19,” as the Native American tribe was particularly hard-hit by the virus; Tappan later apologized.
Antioch, California, planning commission chairman Ken Turnage II was removed from his post by unanimous vote after posting on Facebook that COVID-19 introduced a new phase of “herd immunity” that “allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature.”
3,000 and 135,000. The New York Times
“We’re in the midst of a pandemic that we haven’t seen in over 100 years,” said Christie on CNN. “And we’re going to have to continue to do things.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “How much is a human life worth? That’s the real discussion that no one is admitting openly or freely, but we should,” Cuomo said in a Tuesday press conference. “To me, I say the cost of a human life—a human life is priceless.” He added that New York’s reopening plan “doesn’t have a tradeoff” between the economy and human lives.
Over 1.1 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, while nearly 70,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. About half of all U.S. states have begun the reopening process. Meanwhile, health experts like White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and NIH director Dr. Anthony Fauci have expressed concerns about gatherings and reopening too soon. Birx called protests at Michigan’s state legislature “devastatingly worrisome,” adding that protesters could infect elderly relatives that they would “feel guilty over for the rest of our lives.” On a Monday night CNN appearance, Dr. Fauci asked, “How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality sooner rather than later?”