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House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., appeared Tuesday to jab at President Trump’s eagerness to lift most coronavirus pandemic guidelines.
“There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay [sic] dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,” Cheney tweeted.
Trump has repeatedly said this week he is looking toward easing the advisories that have sidelined workers, shuttered schools and led to a widespread economic slowdown.
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“We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem,” Trump told reporters Monday. “We have to open our country because that causes problems that, in my opinion, could be far bigger problems.”
On Tuesday, Trump told a Fox News virtual town hall that he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Easter Sunday falls on April 12 this year.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow has also warned about the economic costs of prolonged pandemic restrictions.
“We can’t shut in the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great,” Kudlow told Fox News on Monday.
“Extreme measures to flatten the virus ‘curve’ is sensible-for a time-to stretch out the strain on health infrastructure. But crushing the economy, jobs and morale is also a health issue-and beyond. Within a very few weeks let those with a lower risk to the disease return to work,” former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted Sunday.
Health experts have made clear that unless Americans continue to dramatically limit social interaction, the number of infections will overwhelm the health care system. While the worst outbreaks are concentrated in certain parts of the country, such as New York, experts warn that the highly infectious disease is certain to spread.
Like Cheney, others warned about the potential tradeoff from limiting the response to the pandemic for economic stability.
“You know what will revive the economy? Suppressing and containing the virus. That’s it,” former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted.
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Trump’s Easter target was not immediately embraced by Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House task force, who indicated any move would have to be guided by data still being collected. She suggested that public health professionals could recommend a general easing, while pushing for local restrictions to remain in the hardest-hit areas.
Trump acknowledged that some want the guidance to continue, but claimed without providing evidence that keeping the guidance in place would lead to deaths from suicide and depression.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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