Coronavirus: Every State for Itself is No Winning Strategy

We’re seeing the tension increase between public health experts, the governors who are listening to their advice, and the conservative voices who keep pushing the narrative that mandates to keep people home aren’t worth the risk to the economy. This comes as White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the United States could incur 100,000-200,000 COVID-19 deaths according to current projections and even President Trump has backed off his goal of getting Americans to church on Easter.

We need all governors to listen to science and force people to stay home–not block reporters from coronavirus press conferences because they highlight the recklessness of inaction. “Every state for itself” is not a winning strategy.

Why This Matters: As Quartz reported, “research published this week shows that aggressive social distancing measures, while extremely disruptive to commerce in the near term, can result in faster economic growth when the disease subsides.” And on the whole, this crisis shows that our economy wasn’t nearly as strong as we were led to believe.

FYI: Isolation can also be hazardous for human health. The term ‘social distancing’ doesn’t help.

What Comes Next: We will get to a day when the coronavirus pandemic is in our rearview mirror, but there will be no “going back to normal” once that time comes. We must prepare our cities for pandemics, which will require an overhaul of our transportation systems as well as the ways in which we congregate (including at schools, churches, and sporting events).

What About the Workers: As we look at the longer-term economic impacts resulting from coronavirus, protecting workers will be something we must contend with. As Joe Biden suggested, pushing through a Green New Deal agenda in subsequent stimulus bills could build the green economy while also helping put workers back to work.

But how do trade unions feel about this play? The podcast Political Climate spoke to Lee Anderson, director of government affairs at the Utility Workers Union of America, and Anna Fendley, director of regulatory and state policy at the United Steelworkers about how to fit workers into plans for a green economy.

On that note, Amazon employees at the company’s Staten Island, New York, facility plan to walk off the job Monday amid allegations the online retail giant has mishandled its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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