In a move that is clearly attempting to appeal to both business leaders and evangelical Christians at the same time, President Trump’s goal is to re-open the U.S. economy by Easter. This year, Easter Sunday is on April 12—only about two and a half weeks away. As is apparent to anyone who’s been paying even the slightest bit of attention to the rapidly-spreading covid-19 pandemic, resuming life as normal at such an early date would be an utter disaster. Not only would re-opening the economy so soon completely undermine current efforts to flatten the curve, but it would also likely have severe economic consequences in the long run, as that’s what tends to happen when thousands of people are dying.
According to the New York Times, the Easter plan was dreamt up during a conference call Trump held with a number of business leaders last weekend:
While many wanted to see that date set even sooner than Easter, “it’s something that’s coming up that would be obviously a mark on someone’s calendar... I had made this point that we should call this economic resurrection day.”
............ Seriously? Sacrificing the poor to save the wallets of the rich? I’m not up to date on my biblical literature, but from what I’ve read that’s not a move that Jesus would be on board with.
“Easter’s a very special day for me. Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?” Trump later told Fox. “You’ll have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time.”
As someone who lives in New York City, the epicenter of the covid-19 pandemic in the United States, the thought of being in a crowded space in a month from now is genuinely terrifying. Not only does this directly contradict the advice of even Trump’s own health experts, but it is also a wildly transparent attempt to gain the support of evangelical leaders, without any concern for the well-being or needs of the actual congregations of people whose lives would be put at risk if they were to go back to church in less than a month from now.
“I will be encouraging the White House, again within the parameters of what makes sense from a public health standpoint, to do everything we can to make that date... because I think it would be symbolic, it would be significant, it would be inspirational.”
Hopeful symbolism at the expense of the lives of thousands of Americans? Hmmm.... doesn’t seem quite worth it to me.