Steve Hilton: Open where possible, closed where necessary – that’s how the economy survives during coronavirus

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Let's start by appreciating the heroes of this coronavirus crisis - of course, the nurses and doctors risking their own health to protect ours but also the hospital cleaners and the truck drivers and shelf stackers. They are the ones literally keeping America going.



Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" on MSNBC: Donald Trump said today if you don't go back to work by Easter, you will literally kill yourselves. That is what he said. ... That is what he thinks of you. Donald Trump does not believe life is worth living if you're losing money."

That is so disgusting. These people are consumed by hatred of Trump.

In any case, the president didn't say "go back to work by Easter". He said he wants to see the country back to work as soon as possible, and that if easter were possible, that would be great. But in the exact same interview, he said he would review it with his task force, which he has. And they announced the outcome on Sunday: not Easter but April 30th.

The way the Trump haters talk, the president wanting to open up America as quickly as possible makes him some kind of monster. But you didn't hear a peep out of them when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the same thing; when New York Times columnists Tom Friedman, the great guru of the global elite, and rabid never-Trumper Bret Stephens said the same thing; when an actual public health expert, Yale preventative health professor David Katz said the same thing. Or when an actual public health official, the medical director of Maricopa County, Arizona, said the same thing.

I've never seen such support for anything we've said on this show as for our message last week, flatten the curve not the economy. Both parts of that are vital. Flatten the curve so our hospitals aren't overwhelmed, but don't flatten American workers and families in the process.

The president understands this because he knows who's hurt by the total shutdown. Not the TV talking heads and blue-check Twitter chirpers working in the “knowledge economy," but the real blue-collar working class -- construction workers, factory workers, restaurant workers, retail workers, and the families who rely on them.

Glenn Jacobs, Mayor of Knoxville, Tenn.: “That number is completely shocking and makes me wonder if what we are doing now is really the best approach. We have to determine how we can respond to COVID-19 in a way that keeps our economy intact, keeps people employed and empowers them with a feeling of hope and optimism – not desperation and despair."

It's not just the coronavirus that kills people. Poverty kills. Despair kills. If this total shutdown goes on too long it will kill more people than coronavirus. You just won't see the numbers in a neat little box on cable news.

I am so sick of irresponsible idiots on TV pretending this is all so simple -- save every life. Well if you really want to save every life, then take seriously the death rate from the total shutdown. Acknowledge the pain and suffering of millions of struggling Americans for whom the people on TV seem to show no understanding or empathy

Flatten the curve, not the economy obviously doesn't mean pretend the virus doesn’t exist and lift all restrictions overnight. No one is saying ignore public health. We're saying that the virus and the shutdown both hurt public health, so we need to balance the two.

And here's how -- It's a simple message: Open where possible, closed where necessary.

We now have a month more to slow the spread. Let's make it count. But as we do, let's push the public health officials to develop a plan that is more targeted and surgical than a total shutdown. We have the data to identify the people most at risk of needing hospital treatment. Protect them.

Even during the next month, and certainly afterward, the right strategy to reduce the coronavirus death rate and the shutdown death rate is open where possible, closed where necessary. That would mean keeping the ban on large gatherings. But it could also mean opening up workplaces just with temperature checks for all workers. By the way, this is completely in line with what Dr. Fauci has said about "flexibility in different areas."

Open where possible, closed where necessary. To enable that flexibility, we'll need to continue the rapid progress in testing so we can decide place by place where it's possible to open up, and where it's necessary to stay closed. But the vital thing the president did last week was to change the conversation from the despair of indefinite shutdown to the hope of careful re-opening. He put a light at the end of the tunnel.

So in this extra month of shutdown, let’s commit to a new phase in this fight - more targeted, more surgical, more balanced. Open where possible, closed where necessary. That's the way to flatten the curve without flattening the economy.

Adapted from Steve Hilton's monologue from "The Next Revolution" on March 29, 2020.

TAGS: Steve Hilton Open where possible closed where necessary that’s how the economy survives during coronavirus

30 Mar 2020 21:04   |    169


When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe;" but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: "We are really with you: We (were) only jesting."Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (to and fro).  (The Cow   14-15 )


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