Ezra Klein: "We don’t have a President or a plan"


Here’s the truth: Lockdown is economically ruinous, and America can’t sustain it from now until a vaccine. And you don’t have to take it from me. “You can’t be in lockdown for 18 months,” says Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. “We’ll destroy society as we know it, and we don’t know what we’ll accomplish with it.”

But this is also the truth: Reopening without a way to control the coronavirus will be lethal to both human life and economic growth, as an escalating death toll will force states back into lockdown. “We can’t just let the virus go,” Osterholm says. “Lots of people will die and it’ll shut down our health system, not just for Covid patients, but for anyone with a health problem.

“What we need,” he continues, “is a plan.”

It is shocking. More than 60 days after President Trump declared a national emergency over the novel coronavirus, there is still no clear national plan for what comes next. “The lockdown is not meant to be a permanent state of affairs; it’s intended to be a giant pause button that buys you time to get ready for the next phase,” Jeremy Konyndyk, of the Center for Global Development think tank, says.

But the Trump administration wasted the pause

Yes, Trump is awful and the Republicans are his criminal henchmen. But the Democrats should not be viewed as heroes. Heroes take action.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner