In a controversial move, Trump states that he will be winding down the Coronavirus Taskforce. Some experts believe that the Covid-19 pandemic is only just beginning, including Michael Osterholm, who has claimed that “we are only in the second inning of a nine inning contest”. Olstrom’s main concern is that the USA does not have a national long term strategy to respond to the effects of Covid-19. Based on Trump’s latest comments, it appears that his strategy is simply to let the virus burn through the population.
It appears that, for at least some people, saving the economy and 18 million jobs is worth the sacrifice of human life. One model suggests that if life returns to normal, there could be an additional 800,000 deaths, but the trade off would be the addition of 4 million jobs to the U.S. economy. That is a lot of death.
Is this acceptance of death the new national strategy on Covid-19? That seemed to be the theme of the day when Trump toured the Honeywell factory in Arizona. Not only did Trump and his entourage not wear masks, but they spent their time shouting at the top of their lungs at each other and to the factory workers. Why were they shouting? It was necessary to be heard over the blaring music that filled the factory. As the factory workers assembled masks, they listened to songs such as “Live and Let Die”.
Never mind the symbolism of the song choice, one might wonder about the health and safety effects of blaring such loud music on a factory floor. Studies have concluded that exposure to high levels of noise in the workplace can double a worker’s chance of developing heart disease, in addition to contributing to hearing loss.
Sometimes, factories will play loud music to stop their employees from talking to each other. We wouldn’t want the workers to form a union, now, would we?