A far-right rallying cry: Older Americans should volunteer to work - 2020-03-27
Though it's by no means the overwhelming opinion of Republicans or conservatives at large, the argument seems to have arisen from one strain of the wartime mentality that has emerged during the coronavirus crisis. And as President Donald Trump nears the end of his 15-day call for social distancing, it's a philosophy that could influence the decision-making within the White House. Trump is known to take cues from a number of conservative pundits who are off the mainstream radar.
"The way that people are talking sounds a lot like the populist nationalism that made up the wave that Trump rode first to the Republican nomination and then to the White House, because it's phrased in ways that talk about the common good — except 'the common good' is really 'the country's bottom line succeeds,'" said Seth Mandel, executive editor of the conservative Washington Examiner, in an interview.
Public health leaders have warned that easing the current social-distancing measures — particularly by mid-April, as Trump has signaled — could allow the coronavirus to embed itself in new communities and spread even more rapidly in existing hotbeds. Hospitals are already worried about medical equipment shortages, as well as a limited availability of beds, and any further exacerbation of the situation would threaten to completely overwhelm the health care system.