Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, warned that the U.S. would not be able to return to a functioning economy if hospitals are overrun with patients who have contracted coronavirus.
The Wyoming Republican’s comments came a day after President Trump said that his administration would work to allow local economies to “cautiously resume” activities shut down due to the pandemic, saying that the United States “wasn’t built to be shut down” and could reopen in a matter of weeks, “not months.”
“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 dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,” Cheney tweeted on Tuesday.
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 dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus. https://t.co/AchwfXtuLi
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) March 24, 2020
Cheney’s remarks echoed those of former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb, whose message she retweeted. Gottlieb said a functional economy isn’t feasible as long as the virus continues to spread in major cities.
“There’s a strong and understandable desire to return to better times and a functioning economy. But it should not be lost on anyone that there’s no such thing as a functioning economy and society so long as covid-19 continues to spread uncontrolled in our biggest cities,” Gottlieb tweeted.
“The only way to return to a stable economy and restore our liberty, is to end epidemic spread of covid-19. We need a massive effort to offset the hardship of these efforts, and the public health costs they impose, as there are more than economic costs to the measures we’re taking.’,” he added.
“But there’s no functioning healthcare with hospitals overwhelmed, no return to work with people terrified of a virus raging uncontrolled. There are two ways to end this. Let a vast swath of people catch covid which is unthinkable, or break the epidemic. We must choose the latter,” Gottlieb also said.
Trump said Monday he is working with the coronavirus task force on a plan to allow areas outside of “hot spots” to reopen, adding he would like to see it happen in weeks, not months.
“Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation and the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time,” he told reporters at a press briefing.
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down. This is not a country that was built for this,” he added.