Donald Trump believes in his personal Easter miracle. Just as Jesus Christ once rose on the third day after his death, the US economy is set to come back quickly despite the corona pandemic. "I would be happy to see the country open again at Easter," the US President said in a TV interview with his home broadcaster Fox Newswhere viewers could also ask questions. Where open obviously means that companies should start operating again and people should go about their jobs. "We can wash our hands five times a day and do not shake hands, but we have to get back to work," Trump said in the White House rose garden.
The 73-year-old did not lack vision and common sense for the first time during his tenure, but this decision – if he can actually enforce it – would be devastating. Should the economy start up again in just over two weeks, this would result in considerable dangers. People went back to work and would infect each other with coronavirus in large numbers.
The United States already have the third most cases of infection worldwide. In New York in particular, the numbers are exploding, and in the rest of the country, according to Columbia University calculations, the Corona cases will skyrocket to up to 500,000 in May. In many states, the growth curve could not peak until June – but Easter Sunday is already April 12th.
For fear of the upcoming election
The current standstill in public life in many parts of the country would have to be maintained for weeks to extend the pandemic as long as possible so that the country's hospitals can actually care for and treat all patients. The already dysfunctional US health care system threatens to collapse under the number of cases if the measures to keep away and shutdowns in many states are not followed. Chances are more people will die if Donald Trump is serious about his project.
But the president and his allies in the republican party obviously don't care. They have been testing the reactions of the public to such a far-reaching step since Monday. Dan Patrick, deputy governor of Texas, said at Fox News, of course, that he would accept his own death from Corona to preserve "America That Loves All America". Trump tweeted himself: "We cannot allow the remedy to be more harmful than the problem itself."
On Tuesday, the US president apparently felt safe enough to officially announce the move. His motif is simple. Trump wants a second term and sees his flourishing economy as his best argument for reelection. He obviously doesn't care about the victims of this attachment. During his TV appearance, he even tried to reduce the death rate of the corona pandemic in front of an audience of millions. He anticipates less than one percent, "substantially less" than he had previously been told. And because of traffic and normal flu deaths, you don't shut down the economy.
Hard-won acceptance of restrictions is lost
The signal from these words is fatal. All over the country, authorities and state governments are fighting for acceptance for the restrictions on public life. If the US president now approves of reopening factories and playing down the risk of death, this could undermine the painstakingly worked out local sensitivity of the population to the threat of the pandemic. This would result in unnecessary infections.
Sadly, Trump could hit the nerves of some voters with his corona trivialization. The Federal Reserve in Saint Louis anticipates an unemployment rate of up to 30 percent due to the current economic standstill. In the United States, there is no long-term coverage for the unemployed at the federal level. The Corona aid package for workers and the self-employed passed by Congress is incomplete, another trillion package is stuck in the Senate. Anyone who loses his or her job may be more at risk of stagnation in public life than Corona. Trump cynically exploits these fears.
But Trump's push outside the United States is also likely to have serious consequences. Corona skeptics in other countries – like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – may feel confirmed by the President's actions. Governments could find themselves forced to start up their own economy prematurely. Now there is only hope that Trump will rethink his decision. It would not be the first time that he revised an announcement after political resistance. He would do the country, its citizens and perhaps the whole world a great favor.