After 210K Deaths, Republican Calls Safety Measures “Unjustifiable Hysteria”
Nearly 210,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and President Donald Trump and multiple White House aides have tested positive for the virus.
But Republican resistance to public health safety measures continues strong, The Washington Post reports.
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who tested positive himself last week, said there is “a level of unjustifiable hysteria” surrounding the virus and asked, “Why do we think we actually can stop the progression of a contagious disease?”
- Johnson said “from day one, we never should have gone through the shutdowns,” adding: “We’ve got to carry on with our lives.”
- Trump has also continued with downplaying the virus, despite being hospitalized last week after developing symptoms. After he was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, Trump told Americans: “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign plowed ahead with planning for rallies with large crowds, with Vice President Pence scheduled to campaign Thursday in Arizona. Thousands of attendees at similar events this year have frequently flouted federal guidelines on masks and social distancing.
- William A. Galston, a senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution, said this is a “culture and identity issue.”
“This begins at the top. Unless the president announces and underscores a change of course, I don’t believe the administration or rank-and-file members of his party are going to change more than marginally.”
- Galston added that “culture and identity are much harder to shift than policy.”