Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is arguing that the U.S. economy — which he considers to be on the brink of collapse — needs to reopen.
During an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Kennedy offered his opinion on the U.S. economy and its impact on the world.
He also mocked the shutdown describing it as “foolish” while comparing it to burning down the village in order to save it.
“We’ve got to open this economy. If we don’t, it’s going to collapse. And if the U.S. economy collapses, the world economy collapses,” Kennedy said. “And trying to burn down the village to save it is foolish. That’s a cold, hard truth.”
“Number two: Yes, we shut down, but the shutdown did not stop the spread of the virus. I wish it had. But it’s too late for that.”
The Louisiana lawmaker went on to admit that the shutdown has slowed the spread in the coronavirus but he argues that it will not completely stop the spread.
See Kennedy’s comments below:
We’re going to have to trust Americans to reopen the economy in the right places, in smart ways, at the right time.
If we don't, it's going to collapse, and, if the U.S. economy collapses, the world economy collapses.
Trying to burn down the village to save it won't work. pic.twitter.com/zak3EXzxrJ
— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) April 16, 2020
Kennedy also acknowledged that he is aware reopening the country could cause the virus to “spread faster” but insists it needs to be done.
“When we end the shutdown, the virus is going to spread faster,” Kennedy admitted. “That’s just a fact. And the American people understand that.”
Despite acknowledging that reopening prematurely could contribute to a more rapid infection rate, Kennedy insists there is a “smart” way to do so. According to the Louisiana senator, the federal government should focus on reopening areas less impacted by the coronavirus.
“So when we open up — and we’re going to have to, and somebody’s got to make the call — we got [to] be smart about how we do it,” Kennedy explained. “Don’t open up in the middle of a hot spot.”
He also offered his take on how the government should work with high-risk Americans.
“Encourage your elderly and those with preexisting conditions to stay quarantined and provide them financial support. Wear masks. Try to socially distance. Use technology without violating privacy to try to track the hot spots and track people who have been exposed. Test as much as we can. Make sure that we got healthcare capacity.”
Kennedy added, “This is like choosing between cancer and a heart attack.”
There is still no definitive date for the United States to reopen its economy. The president is supposed to announce “new guidelines” on reopening the economy during Thursday’s White House coronavirus press briefing.
As of Thursday afternoon, the United States has more than 640,000 positive coronavirus cases with a death toll of over 31,000.
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