COVID vs. the Flu: Trump’s Foolish and Self-Defeating Message

President Trump departs Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., October 5, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
It is entirely reasonable to support reopening schools and to oppose another lockdown. What’s wrong is downplaying the risk of COVID and suggesting it is a lot like the flu.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O n March 9, President Trump tweeted: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

The comparison to the flu was foolish even then. On March 9, Italy became the first western country to impose a national lockdown as its hospitals in Lombardy were being overrun with COVID patients. The leaders of Communist China, a regime not known for caring much about human life, had already

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