Growing chorus of Republicans urge consideration of economic impacts of COVID-19 precautions
In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04) joined a growing number of Republican elected officials arguing that the health of the economy must be taken into account amid measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
After acknowledging the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak, Aderholt commented that “as we look beyond the crisis, we must consider that the economic damage could cripple the country.”
The Haleyville native continued, “President Trump wants people back to work by Easter. I don’t know the best timetable, but I’m hoping it can be weeks not months.”
Aderholt’s comments come in the wake of Republicans across the country arguing for the necessity of economic considerations during the pandemic.
In an interview on Friday with Yellowhammer News contributor Jeff Poor’s radio show on WVNN, State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) expressed some misgivings with the severity of the coronavirus precautions.
“I watch what is happening to the economy and how the politicians seem to be trying to outrace themselves to implement new restrictions. I’m starting to get real serious questions about how things are operating,” advised Orr.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of the first politicians to make comments with similar considerations to Aderholt’s. He tweeted on Saturday, “A collapsed economy risks more American lives than #COVID19 does.”
That line of thinking was made more prominent by a tweet from President Donald Trump on Sunday, where he said in part, “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
Trump indicated that he would “love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter” in a press conference, but later cautioned, “Rest assured, every decision we make is grounded solely in the health, safety and well-being of our citizens.”
Some prominent Republicans have argued that business can only fully resume after the virus is dealt with.
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) argued on Twitter, “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.”
“Once we get past this the economy is going to rebound,” U.S. Rep Gary Palmer (AL-06) assured the public during an appearance on Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” arguing that a good economy was only on pause until the spread of the virus is contained.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has promoted a measure in the stimulus bill recently passed by the Senate that will provide $300 billion for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“My priority is keeping the Alabama economy going as much as possible,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in a press briefing Tuesday.
In the same briefing, Ivey argued that Alabama was not in need of the very strict “shelter in place” orders implemented by some more direly affected states. Such orders have particularly strong negative effects on a state’s economy due to only the most essential businesses being allowed to continue operations.
“We have to get back to work,” said Ivey, who also added, “The safety and well-being of Alabamians is paramount.”
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: email@example.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.