The Political Insider
Around this time last year, on March 25, then-President Donald Trump had hoped to reopen society from COVID lockdowns in time to celebrate Easter.
Easter fell on April 12, 2020.
The BBC reported at the time: “US President Donald Trump hopes the US will shake off the coronavirus by Easter, despite the New York governor sounding the alarm that the disease is spreading faster than a bullet train.”
Trump wants to reopen the economy at Easter to have “packed churches”. 2020 https://t.co/oya3FloWGV pic.twitter.com/L4yCxEETL7
– CoinnewsBest (@CoinnewsB) March 25, 2020
Trump was keen to reopen society before Easter in 2020
“The president said a White House press conference to reopen the US early next month would be a nice timeline,” the report added.
Trump said, “We’re going to open relatively soon … I would love it if the country opens up and rarely goes until Easter.”
In a later interview he added, “Easter is a very special day for me … and you have churches full of churches all over our country.”
Obviously that didn’t happen.
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As we near the holiest day of the year for Christians, Easter 2021, the development, availability and distribution of multiple vaccines has coincided with restrictions in different areas that are gradually loosening, although the country is not yet entirely out of the woods.
Political economy with James Pethokoukis: Alex Brill: US spending and tax policy after the COVID recession https://t.co/8wOlPhgqxP
– Ricochet (@ Ricochet) March 24, 2021
The concerns Trump had about not reopening earlier became apparent
But the damage caused by the lockdowns could continue for some time.
In late March 2020, what were some of President Trump’s concerns about the lockdowns?
In the same BBC story, Trump was labeled as concerned that prolonged lockdowns could cause “a massive recession or depression”.
“You will lose people,” added Trump. “You will have thousands of suicides. You will make all sorts of things happen. You will have instability. “
The Center for Budgetary and Policy Priorities stated in a study originally published in July 2020: “Unemployment remains high and millions report that their households have not been given enough to eat or are not covered by rent payments.”
“The impact of the pandemic and economic impact has been widespread but is particularly noticeable in households with black, Latin American, indigenous and immigrant families,” the organization noted.
With the COVID-19 crisis increasing the risk of suicide and mental illness, Americans deserve more help – appeal https://t.co/FhdR3U7Xs3 pic.twitter.com/6F6EHE8g53
– Counseling and Recovery (@CRSOKtulsa) August 14, 2020
Regarding the surge in suicide, Roll Call reported on Aug. 20, “The country’s suicide rate hit historic highs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with rates at their highest since World War II.”
“Economic and social pressures this year have increased risks and worried experts, health officials and lawmakers,” Roll Call noted at the time.
Many mocked Trump for being ready to reopen, and many still view economic and mental health concerns as trivial compared to the reported death toll of half a million Americans.
But the lockdowns have done what some might consider more damaging in the long run than COVID itself.
Many no doubt remember “15 days to slow the spread”.
We are now, a year later, shortly before Easter 2021.
Is there an end in sight?
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