Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is pushing back at President Donald Trump’s move away from social distancing measures being used to slow the spread of the coronavirus – warning that changes will lead thousands to die without economic gains.
Her public rebuke, issued on Twitter without mentioning Trump’s name, comes after Trump this week has shown his frustration with health measures that are grinding the U.S. economy to a halt, in a disruptive and possibly belated effort to try to contain the damage.
‘There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,’ wrote Cheney, a Republican leader and Wyoming House member who is the daughter for former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Rep. Liz Cheney is warning there won’t be a functioning economy if the nation does not first confront the coronavirus
Her father, 79, had a heart transplant, and presumably is at risk from the virus, as are other older Americans with heart and lung conditions.
Cheney retweeted severe warnings by Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a Trump ally who also has observed there won’t be a functioning economy if COVID-19 rages uncontrolled.
‘There’s a strong and understandable desire to return to better times and a functioning economy,’ Gottlieb wrote in a thread. ‘But it should not be lost on anyone that there’s no such thing as a functioning economy and society so long as covid-19 continues to spread uncontrolled in our biggest cities.’
He continued: ‘The only way to return to a stable economy and restore our liberty, is to end epidemic spread of covid-19. We need a massive effort to offset the hardship of these efforts, and the public health costs they impose, as there are more than economic costs to the measures we’re taking.’
‘But there’s no functioning healthcare with hospitals overwhelmed, no return to work with people terrified of a virus raging uncontrolled. There are two ways to end this. Let a vast swath of people catch covid which is unthinkable, or break the epidemic. We must choose the latter.’
Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb urged that the nation consider measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted after President Trump issued a call to get Americans back to work and said the cure cannot be worse than the disease
‘There’s no such thing as a functioning economy’ if the spread of the disease is not stopped, he wrote
First responders from IU Health Bloomington hospital pick up a woman at the corner of 1st St and S. Walnut St who was sitting slumped over, and was saying she was having trouble breathing, and other COVID-19/Coronavirus symptoms in Bloomington, Ind.
President Trump says he is eager to reopen the U.S. economy and has chafed at the health measures
Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, 79, had a heart transplant,
Gottlieb warned on CNBC: ‘This is going to be a long fight. I think we need to keep this going several more weeks. But there is an end to this.’ He said with lock-downs and other measures, the virus can peak in countries like Italy in about 30 days. The nation is about halfway through a 15-day program proscribed by the administration.
Trump has appeared to follow advice from Gottlieb, who left the administration a year ago, at times during the crisis. But on Tuesday, his tweets made clear he has grown frustrated with the health measures amid steep drops in the financial markets.
‘Our people want to return to work,’ the president wrote on Twitter.
‘They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!,’ he argued.
The tweet reflected a change in tone at Monday’s White House briefing, which in turn followed earlier urgings that Americans follow strict guidelines and stay home while avoiding large groups.
‘America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon,’ Trump said at the briefing Monday. ‘A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.’