A modest Coronavirus proposal

The Coronavirus has shut down much of the US economy for nearly a month, and Donald Trump has had enough. Trump is now hell-bent on reopening the economy on May 1, and his Greek chorus at Fox News has dutifully picked up the mantle.

You’ll recall that early on, Trump referred to the growing concern about the Coronavirus as a “hoax,” while his bff Sean Hannity underplayed the seriousness of the pandemic:

There are now over 22,000 Americans dead from Covid-19.

Former Reagan official Bill Bennett just compared the Coronavirus to the flu, telling a Fox host that “this was not and is not a pandemic.”

While the messaging is intended to undercut the seriousness of the pandemic, its ultimate goal appears to be support for Trump’s effort to reopen the economy sooner than the medical experts advise.

Fox host Laura Ingraham yesterday claimed (incorrectly) that: “It’s now obvious that our press will oppose any strategy that doesn’t lead to a complete lockdown for at least the remainder of the year.”

Other far-right celebrities echoed the Trump message intended to undercut keeping people sheltered at home.

Trump White House officials are even suggesting that social distancing could kill more people than the Coronavirus itself:

Not surprisingly, Navarro was echoing an earlier Trump talking point:

At the same time, there’s a growing buzz on the right to fire Dr. Fauci, in part because he’s the number one impediment to reopening the economy early. Fauci has made clear that it’s not safe to reopen without adequate testing, among other measures. (Fauci also said that had Trump acted earlier, we’d have saved more lives.) Trump himself retweeted yesterday a call for Fauci to be fired.

The growing antipathy on the right to Fauci is not surprising, as Trump has made clear that he doesn’t think additional testing is necessary in order to reopen the economy:

So, here’s my modest proposal. If Trump and his friends at Fox News think it’s safe outside, and silly — if not dangerous! — to remain at home any longer, nothing is stopping them from returning to their former lives.

Fox News should immediately stop social distancing, and bring all the hosts and guests back into the study. And the Trump White House should bring all the reporters back to the press room — no more empty seats (feel free to start with Fox and OANN “journalists” if the real media refuses).

And the pièce de résistance: On May 1, Trump should declare the country “open for business,” and note the glorious occasion by holding the biggest MAGA rally ever. Assemble hundreds of thousands of his most virulent supporters to a red state of his choosing, and make sure Mike Pence is there, Melania and the kids, every Twitter troll, and the entire Fox News family.

And since Trump has explained repeatedly how important physical contact is for politicians, on the way into the arena make sure to shake every hand, hug every woman, and kiss a few babies for good measure.

After all, what have you got to lose?

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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