This morning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a new study warning of a second spike in coronavirus cases if social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders were relaxed too swiftly.
The study stands in stark contrast to the attitudes of conservatives in several states who have been gathering to protest their governors for implementing the orders.
Protesters in Michigan—who nevertheless wore masks to show up—sparked a dubious debate nationwide over the merits of prioritizing public safety versus allowing random people to continue to host cookouts and go boating.
Protests in other states followed suit, declaring governors out-of-line for someone infringing on their constitutional rights.
What those states have in common is they all have Democratic governors. And the protesters are coming from the conservative movement, which has cast doubts on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, and state governments’ response to it.
Today President Donald Trump made it clear where he falls on that debate. As the president, he is ostensibly in charge of keeping safe the lives of all Americans. But he’s firmly with his base on this.
In a series of tweets, he declared that Virginia, Minnesota, and Michigan needed to be “liberated.”
While that’s not entirely calling for open rebellion—against the best wishes and recommendations of public safety efforts—well, it sure ain’t far from it.
And even if Trump is just doing his standard Twitter blustering, it exemplifies his own schizophrenic response to the outbreak that is leaving Americans confused. Just yesterday, he admitted it would be up to states to decide how to handle “re-opening” and that it would be a long, slow process.
Today, he’s calling for apparent insurrection. It would be helpful to the whole of the country if its top executive could maintain consistency in his message for more than 12 hours.