Donald Trump’s MAGA followers finally agree: the coronavirus threat is real. But there’s now a growing chorus worried the president might overdo the response.
The fear is that the media and mass hysteria has cowed Trump into fully tanking the economy in response to what they believe is a dangerous, but not apocalyptic, disease. Despite warnings from Trump’s own health officials that millions could die unless drastic action is taken, some of the president’s supporters worry that the dangers of overreacting could also be severe.
“More than a month of people actually quarantined will break down civil society. Nobody is used to this, and when the money runs out for people they will get desperate — and there’s not enough money the government can dole out that’ll be enough,” said David Reaboi, vice president for strategic operations at Security Studies Group who writes for The Federalist.
“People will start to panic, then [begin] killing and looting. And we’ll face a society-wide crisis that’s more than simply economic. Absorbing the death of a certain number of people is preferable to that, if those are the options. Amazing and horrible to even think like that, but here we are.”
A variation of the debate has also started to infiltrate more mainstream circles, with a much-read Wall Street Journal editorial recently weighing how much financial devastation is worth the health benefits a prolonged economic stoppage will bring.
Public health officials insist such measures are necessary for now, noting the coronavirus is far worse than the flu — it is at least 10 times as lethal and about three times as contagious, according to officials. And recent data has also shown that the disease may pose greater risks to younger generations than previously thought — nearly 40 percent of coronavirus hospitalizations were people aged 20 to 54, according to a government report.