Trump's economic adviser: "Why don’t we just put everybody in a space outfit or something like that?"

Ana

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Conservative economist Stephen Moore has been busy these days.

A member of the president’s economic task force, he’s been pushing the administration and governors to loosen the stay-at-home orders as soon as possible. He’s been working closely with groups like FreedomWorks to nurture and promote some of the protests across the country. And he’s been on a bit of a media tour, warning Americans that the country stands on the verge of “economic carnage” if it doesn’t reopen soon.

There’s no question about his partisan credentials. Mr. Moore was one of the founders of the Club for Growth, which advocates limited government and low taxes. In 2012, Mr. Moore helped design tax cuts in Kansas that exploded the state’s budget without producing a promised economic boom.

Mr. Moore offered his broad thoughts on the economic impacts of the coronavirus, noting that he’s not a public health expert — nor has he completed any studies of the effects as of yet. We spoke to him about the risks of reopening, what he’s advising the president and his predictions of a coming “economic civil war.” (As always, our conversation has been edited and condensed.)
There’s also a racial component, right, which is that the people more likely to get sick and die from the virus are more likely to be African-American. We’ve seen that data too. So how do you weigh the racial inequalities of this virus?

The people who are suffering the most are minorities. There’s no question about that. By the way, that’s in no small part because minorities tend to be living in major cities where they’re living close together. But they also are the people — I mean, look at the people in the soup lines and the people waiting for The Salvation Army trucks. I mean, they are minorities as well. They are the ones whose lives have been really shattered.

We can use really good public safety measures, social distancing the work force, disinfectants everywhere, masks. I was thinking this morning, and this is just kind of a thought experiment because I was thinking about this — why don’t we just put everybody in a space outfit or something like that? No. Seriously, I mean —
Well, we’d have to make the space outfits, right?

I know we don’t have space outfits [laughter]— I mean, just thinking out loud, and maybe this is a crazy idea, but instead of just locking down the economy, putting everybody in a kind of — you’re right. You have to make 200 million of these, but it wouldn’t have cost $3 trillion to do that. And you can have for months people just walking around in these kind of — I mean, I was looking online, and there are all these kinds of suits that they’re building now that you’re not exposed and you’re breath — kind of ventilator.


 

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