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What happened to flattening the curve? Kim Strassel drags Dems for moving the goal posts on lockdown

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Democrats continue to criticize and oppose President Donald Trump and his administration’s efforts to deal with the coronavirus crisis, including the latest moves to reopen the US economy.

Despite nearing the goal to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread” of COVID-19, which Trump announced was the point of shutting down the economy and issuing guidelines to Americans to stay home, Democrats are now demanding more, according to Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel.

(Image: MSNBC screenshot)

“The shutdown came. The shutdown conquered. Long live the shutdown,” Strassel, a member of the editorial board for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in a piece published this week, pointing out that Democrats have “set new battle lines” in the coronavirus debate and continue to move the shutdown goal posts.

“The goal of the shutdown was never to eradicate the disease—an impossibility absent a vaccine. The lockdown was designed to buy the health sector time, to make sure all the cases didn’t hit at once in a crush that would overwhelm hospitals, à la Italy,” she wrote.

Democrats, it seems, are happy to keep the economy shut down longer as a resulting recession would play in their favor and hurt Trump’s re-election chances. The president created a task force this week to move ahead with the plan for reopening the nation, which was the goal after stemming its spread.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her caucus an earful in a private call this week, warning that the president was risking American lives by rushing to reopen the economy by the end of April, according to Politico.

“By these standards, no lockdown may end until the Trump administration can ‘guarantee’ a ‘safe’ world in which people return to ‘normal,'” Strassel wrote in her editorial.

“The feds must stand up a testing system capable of hunting down and snuffing out each new infection. There can be no more outbreaks, and reopening cannot ‘significantly add’ to existing counts (and the press reserves the authority to define ‘significantly.’) The unsaid corollary is that Mr. Trump will be held politically responsible for reopening in any way that fails to meet these baselines—on the hook for each subsequent death,” she added.

Meanwhile, Democrats are formulating their own plan to reopen the economy and reaching out to individual states to submit their own. This after the same Democrats complained when the president refused to order a national stay-at-home order and said states should each make their own call on governing their residents.

Liberals have been beating the drum of panic over the president’s calls to get America back to work, which most in the country would agree with as the lockdowns and unemployment have sparked a nationwide restlessness and, in some cases, outright protests. The president even called for citizens to “liberate” themselves from heavy restrictions in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.

“The Democrats have moved the goal posts,” Strassel pointed out, noting how they will target Trump by blaming him for every death from the virus.

“Yet Mrs. Pelosi sees in this moment a political opportunity to pin the blame for the natural course of a disease on the White House,” the columnist and best-selling author wrote, noting how the administration and new task force have been working to connect with business leaders and others in ironing out the details of next steps.

“It understands it needs to get this right. Come Election Day, Mr. Trump is likely to be judged more on the success of his efforts to get the economy back on track than on the shutdown itself,” Strassel wrote.

But most Americans are likely to see through the strategy by Democrats, who infamously delayed the original relief bill while attempting to add Pelosi’s “wish list” items and, this week, blocked refunding the Paycheck Protection Program. This while House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced yet another investigation into how Trump supposedly mishandled the unprecedented global pandemic.

“What’s missing from the White House reopening plan—and what is urgently required—is management of expectations. The administration needs to keep reminding the country of the original mission—to flatten the curve. And it needs to define quickly its own measure of success,” Strassel contended in her op-ed.

“That means explaining the limitations of even a wide-scale testing regime, preparing the country for continued rising death tolls, and warning that this virus is going to be with us for many months to come. It also means enlisting governors to help in delivering that message, as well as to share in the responsibility and rewards of reopening,” she suggested.

“No politician likes to deliver hard truths,” Strassel added, “but that’s a far better strategy for this pandemic than stepping into the trap Democrats are laying.”

Frieda Powers

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