CNN has an article out titled, “5 common arguments for reopening the economy — and why experts say they are flawed.” The “experts” CNN spoke to were not economists but health experts, who can’t be expected to take into consideration that the economy simply can’t remain closed until the coronavirus is eradicated.
The first “argument” CNN attempts to debunk is a strawman. “Keep the elderly at home, but let young or healthy people go back to work,” the outlet claims as the argument people are making. Some people might be making this argument, but what they mean and what most are saying is to keep vulnerable populations at home, not just the elderly. CNN completely ignores this and then uses their misstated argument as evidence it is flawed.
The outlet calls its misstated argument flawed because it’s not just the elderly who are susceptible to the coronavirus, as young people can have underlying conditions as well. Yeah, that’s why the argument is actually to keep vulnerable populations at home. The phased reopening plan in Virginia acknowledges this, with phase two still requiring vulnerable populations to stay a home and phase three suggesting to those same populations that it’s “safer at home.” It’s not simply the elderly being told to stay home, it’s everyone vulnerable to COVID-19.
Some of CNN’s arguments are fine, like the coronavirus being more deadly than the flu, but again, they don’t talk to economists about the detrimental effects an indefinite, forced shut down will have on the country.
Another argument from the outlet again reaches for a straw man. “Just let everyone get herd immunity the natural way,” CNN suggests as the argument people are making. The outlet claims not only are people making this argument but also insisting everything opens and all restrictions are lifted immediately. That’s not an argument being made by large swaths of the population. People want to go back to work, sure, but most aren’t demanding everything return to normal. People still want safety measures in place and some form of social distancing. And even if those restrictions were lifted, a large percentage of people will still follow some of the social distancing and safety precautions for personal protection.
All this suggests CNN, which doesn’t appear to have been affected by the coronavirus shutdown except that it’s anchors have to stream from home, really wants to keep the country shut down. This is a network that still hasn’t answered for one of its top anchors, Chris Cuomo, breaking quarantine while claiming to have been confined to his basement. Cuomo allegedly had a verbal altercation with a man in the Hamptons who pointed out that he was breaking social distancing rules while supposedly sick with the virus and contagious.
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