President Trump late Sunday night unleashed an all-caps Twitter rant declaring that “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF!”
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump tweeted. “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
The tweet suggests that he might lift restrictions intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus if the economic pain from the measures becomes too great.
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
Trump’s tweet came soon after Fox News host Steve Hilton blasted “our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear” over the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday and warned that a recession due to shutdowns could be deadly.
Hilton played a clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying he was fine if people think the response to the virus was an overreaction.
“Well, that’s easy for him to say,” Hilton said. “He’ll still have a job at the end of this, whatever happens.”
“Our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear over this virus, they can afford an indefinite shutdown,” Hilton added. “Working Americans can’t, they’ll be crushed by it. You know that famous phrase, ‘The cure is worse than the disease?’ That is exactly the territory we are hurting towards.”
Hilton then calculated that an economic shutdown in response to the virus would lead to a recession that could kill 1 million Americans.
“Poverty kills. Despair kills. This shutdown is deadly,” Hilton said.
Hilton then urged the president to reassess his plan within 15 days. After that, it would be time to end the shutdown while keeping in place bans on large gatherings and measures to protect the elderly.
I suspect that Trump all-caps tweet is a livetweet of Fox from tonight (though obviously @MattGertz would know for sure). Host Steve Hilton used similar language. (No way that Trump read that Medium piece) pic.twitter.com/VS0I29Xgqx
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) March 23, 2020
Trump on Monday morning retweeted several accounts that urged the loosening of those restrictions in the name of getting Americans back to work, a sign he may be growing impatient with the dismal economic numbers that could threaten his reelection hopes in the fall.
“Correct. 15 days, then we keep the high risk groups protected as necessary and the rest of us go back to work,” one user retweeted by Trump said.
Trump also retweeted Dawn Michael, a sex therapist whose tweets he has regularly amplified, who posited that “fear of the virus cannot collapse our economy.”
“We The People are smart enough to keep away from others if we know that we are sick or they are sick!” she tweeted. “After 15 days are over the world can begin to heal!”