‘There Will Be Tremendous Death’: Trump Warns Of Dire Consequences From Economic Shutdown

“Did the doctors on your team endorse easing federal guidelines?”, an inquisitive reporter asked Donald Trump, at Monday evening’s coronavirus press briefing.

“Not endorse”, Trump conceded. “We talked together”.

The daily media event included William Barr this time, but not Anthony Fauci, whose Sunday interview with Science magazine contains a number of somewhat disconcerting soundbites, including an exchange that finds Fauci telling “Jon” (the reporter) that “I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down”, in response to a question about how best to handle situations when Trump says things to the public about coronavirus that are manifestly untrue. “OK, he said it. Let’s try and get it corrected for the next time”, Fauci explains, describing his general strategy for dealing with a president whose penchant for going off script is a point of pride.

“I know, but what do you want me to do? I mean, seriously Jon, let’s get real, what do you want me to do?”, a frustrated Fauci says, at one point during the chat, when pressed on Trump’s (at times) misleading claims.

Fauci’s absence at recent virus press briefings has been noted on social media and also in the news, although he assured CNN on Sunday evening that it has nothing to do with Trump being displeased with him or otherwise attempting to keep the truth from the public.

“I think they’re ok with it, and I’m ok with it”, the president continued on Monday night, effectively doubling down on the suggestion that, after the 15-day period during which Americans have been advised to stay at home expires, the administration will gingerly prod the economy back to life, despite broad agreement in the scientific community around the necessity of keeping somewhat draconian containment measures in place until the “curve” is flattened.

“This could create a much bigger problem than the problem that you start off with”, Trump continued, reiterating points he made in an all-caps tweet over the weekend.


“Because of the magnitude of our economy, the tremendous size of what we’ve built and what we have… so we can’t turn that off”, the president went on to say, referencing the prospect of widespread unemployment associated with the virus containment efforts.

“There will be tremendous death”, he insisted, cranking the fear gauge up a notch. “Death. You know, you’re talking about death”, the president pressed. “Probably, you’re talking about more death than with anything with respect to the virus”.

It seems abundantly clear that there will come a time in the not-so-distant future when Trump clashes with state and local officials over the relative wisdom of lifting the shelter-in-place orders under which around 1 in 4 Americans are now living. The idea that we may eventually need to subjugate the health concerns of a relative few to the necessity of preserving the viability of the economy for the many, was echoed by Larry Kudlow during a Fox interview on Monday and it’s becoming a talking point in right-wing circles on social media.

Trump tried to strike a balance in his rhetoric. “At the same time, we’re going to be watching very closely, the hot spots”, he said. “We’re going to be watching very closely our senior citizens”. It didn’t seem to occur to Trump that he is a senior citizen. As is Larry Kudlow, by the way.

“We can do that and have an open economy”, Trump concluded.

Hopefully, you can see which direction the wind is blowing. States have been on lockdown for, at most, four or five days, and Trump has already seen enough in terms of dour forecasts which show the economy contracting 12% in the second quarter in a best-case outcome.

The general thrust of Trump’s comments on Monday evening was that he isn’t prepared to accept a situation where the economy is hobbled for months.

In fact, he said as much. “America will be open for business” sooner than three or four months, he declared, figuratively pounding the table on the necessity of revisiting protocols after the 15-day containment period announced a week ago rolls off. “Our country was not built to be shutdown”.

Trump said Fauci does not agree on the economic impact and, in a testament to the president’s affinity for quoting things he’s seen online, he compared the virus to driving.

“You look at automobile accidents which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about”, the president remarked, in one of the more unfortunate moments from the briefing. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody no more driving”.


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27 thoughts on “‘There Will Be Tremendous Death’: Trump Warns Of Dire Consequences From Economic Shutdown

      1. Don’t you think that social distancing will seriously hamper his ability to hold government events (or any events) at his clubhouses and hotels?

  1. Trump’s meat-headedness is the reason we are doling out two trillion instead of one trillion. I had been wondering about why they doubled it seemingly out of thin air.

    1. No one should forget travel and leisure industry is hardest hit with these shut down. it is hitting him hard on his personal valet. He will force the opening no matter what. He just won’t preside over his own loss. Plain and simple.

  2. I’m just not convinced this President should get half a Trillion dollars to dole out without any oversight as the Senate Republicans claim is necessary. This President is not earning my trust.

  3. It’s almost time to roll out Susan Collins, so she can be critical of Trump, but then a week later do a 180 spin back to her GOP evilness. Why not weaponize the virus and literally kill as many Americans as possible, in order to help the wealthy grab more … What a great business opportunity!

    1. Viss- I literally think that is what the Republicans and the alt right media (fake cover stone propaganda outlets) are pushing.

  4. Trump has seen this play before. How many times has he gone bust- 5 or 6 maybe. He’s scared to death he’s going to bankrupt the country so telling us (and specially himself) that more will die from an economic recession/depression than from the virus is all he could come up with. What good is a fabulous, perfect economy the likes of which ‘we’ve never seen before’ if it can’t stand up to a pandemic. Xi might be laughing if he wasn’t afraid the madman might create a global depression. Our pitiful non-leader has already surrendered to the virus.

  5. You know, it is…it is almost as if the climate change denying, anti-vaxxer President with the Dispensationalist running mate is against science and the head of a cult that wouldn’t mind if the world came to an end if it would bring about Armageddon and own teh Libs. It is, again, almost, like thisclose, to being like the United States is in point of fact a Banana Republic with no independent institutions and a corporate media dominated by State propaganda organs and “Some say” journalists with bosses that may be a little queasy at the latest market drop. It seems like the country with politicians that take life-saving epidemiological intelligence and take it to insider corporate donors to trade on instead of saving the lives of the general public without consequence or fallout, that would willfully deny access to medicine to Iran and Yemen, might be a scintilla short, the slightest mite, of being the pro-life, blessed by Jesus, City on a Hill we have collectively deluded ourselves into being we are.

  6. For once i am with Trump, the colleteral damages of a shut down is far greater then anyone wants to admit – social, economical and healthwise.

    Open the economy, isolate the risk groups and go on with life!

    1. I hope the dividends you feast upon are the feces of the barbaric darwinistic social order your kind constructs, which shall soon be the wreckage A new order wearily ignores as fleeting ignorance

      1. So a society with 25% unemployment will have no bad effects for the once being effected?
        – Social
        – Health wise
        – Economical

        But for me raising this thought makes me a monster… lol

      1. Yeah – the risk groups are elderly and obese smokers – not so hard to make them stay at home?
        I have read different numbers, but 30% of the infected feel no symptoms, thats why so many gets infected… This shit will come back as soon as the normal life gets back…

  7. So the military had not gamed out a bio crisis? I’m not pro-Chinese, but they clearly had a game plan the worked in their society. Trumps indecision will be worse than the disease. We’ll get the worst of the economy and the illness. His big brain has no answer from the crisis of the century and he trusts no one else’s judgment. He paralyzed.

    Deblasio is a non factor in my personal life, but the man is working a clear plan.

    1. The asian countries dealt with SARS and both people & governments understand the risk as well as what needed to be done. That’s why places like Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore all jumped into action and had more effective quarantines. Europe and the US have complacent, unconcerned populations. We in the US are led by a President who was unconcerned and feckless until late in the game, and now is about to crumble under the pressure that those asian nations were better able to handle. Sad.

    2. Deblasio admitted he had no alternate plan for the schools, which is a big reason why he had to be pushed to shut them down. Deblasio is an empty suit. Watched him interviewed on TV after Sanders got thrashed saying that there was a shot for Sanders. He is a fool. Just because he is smarter than Trump don’t get sucked in- he was a local two bit politician with a good ad that got him to be mayor. He is basically an idiot.

  8. This food fight is a disaster …….If anything good comes out of it it hopefully is that the public will take a more responsible attitude on the selection of it’s leaders in the future…. There has been a severe erosion in leadership qualities even measured in my lifespan .

  9. Is the stock rally today partially explained by the a return to work sooner than anticipated? If so, some of those gains will be eroded when bulls realise that this is another example of Trumpian hot hair. I cant imagine that he will be able to make good on his stated objective as infections and deaths ratchet up. Could be a vote loser and that will stop him in his tracks. I missed the rally today but am as yet unconcerned. Cant believe we have touched bottom….

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