Like Trump’s toughness, pretending you’re using the Defense Production Act of 1950 and hoping for corporate volunteerism is not the same thing especially if you claim you’re in “wartime”. WWII was won with national production planning that overwhelmed the enemy. Trump’s enemy is as he says “invisible”, much like his continuing disinformation, operating with invisible facts.
What is visible is Trump’s being so desperate as to threaten the Fox News audience with a higher number of suicides if business can’t over-rule public health. The GOP and its pundits are now suggesting that there are acceptable death tolls.
The urgency to do something he can’t really do, like “opening the country back up” perhaps signals Trump’s last gasp. He thinks reviving the economy at the risk of public safety is OK. For him, more suicides seem to be a reasonable risk to force businesses to reopen. Trump’s latest piece of disinformation is that Andrew Cuomo “turned down 15,000 ventilators two years ago” (he didn’t).
That successive waves of COVID-19 will somehow re-elect him is Trump’s perversely magical thinking that social darwinism will serve as voter suppression in November.
Trump claims rising suicides if US stays shut: “You're going to have suicides by the thousands.”
TRUMP, on one reason why he wants to reopen the nation for business soon, even if it means more coronavirus infections: “You're going to have suicides by the thousands.” — Fox News town hall.
TRUMP: “People get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies. You have death. Probably and — I mean, definitely — would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we're talking about with regard to the virus.” — news briefing Monday.
THE FACTS: There's no evidence that suicides will rise dramatically if nationwide social-distancing guidelines that have closed many businesses and are expected to trigger a spike in unemployment stay in place.[…]
While there’s no way to predict this time around, historically “we actually tend in most instances to see suicide rates diminish” during times of national crisis such as war or natural disasters, she said. Among the theories is that society pulls together during duress.
Overall, the nation’s suicide rate has been rising in recent years, for a variety of reasons including the opioid epidemic. But the even higher suicide rate seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s fell sharply with the onset of World War II. More recently, a 2017 study found fewer suicides than had been expected during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
The DoJ’s announcement by AG Barr that there would be enforcement of the hoarding and price gouging will only apply to large scale violations, because the GOP has little interest in such things (see anti-trust).
The Act contains three major sections.
- The first authorizes the President to require businesses to sign contracts or fulfill orders deemed necessary for national defense. It also allows the president to designate materials to be prohibited from hoarding or price gouging.
- The second section authorizes the President to establish mechanisms (such as regulations, orders or agencies) to allocate materials, services and facilities to promote national defense.
- The third section authorizes the President to control the civilian economy so that scarce and/or critical materials necessary to the national defense effort are available for defense needs.
The Act also authorizes the President to requisition property, force industry to expand production and the supply of basic resources, impose wage and price controls, settle labor disputes, control consumer and real estate credit, establish contractual priorities, and allocate raw materials towards national defense.
The problem of mixing pandemics and recessions. Killing 1.7 million people will not revive an economy