Our friend Sen. Tom Cotton has been at the forefront of discussions about the Wuhan coronavirus and how we should respond to it. We posted his powerful denunciation of Democrats for their attempt to hold the coronavirus relief bill hostage to a wish list of pet Democratic programs having essentially nothing to do with responding to the virus.
Sen. Cotton has also led the charge to hold China accountable for its unwillingness to report honestly about the virus when it began taking its toll. Had China been honest, the virus wouldn’t have spread the way it did.
Cotton has in mind, among other things, making ourselves vastly less dependent on China for the production of key items like medicines. We would be well advised to do this even if there had been no Wuhan coronavirus.
Sen. Cotton has received less attention for a tweet about the relationship between economic prosperity and limiting the spread of the virus in America. Cotton tweeted:
This is the stark truth: we have to arrest the spread of the China virus to get the economy back on its feet & get life back to something like normal.
Rep. Lynn Chaney has tweeted to the same effect:
There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus.
There was also this from Sen. Lindsey Graham:
Try running an economy with major hospitals overflowing, doctors and nurses forced to stop treating some because they can’t help all, and every moment of gut-wrenching medical chaos being played out in our living rooms, on social media, and shown all around the world. There is no functioning economy unless we control the virus.
These statements remind us that, just as the state of the economy affects public health (a severe economic down turn will cause some deaths), the state of public health affects the economy. Right now, the state of public health seems, as Tom Cotton says, inimical to getting the economy back on its feet.