As Unemployment Jumps To 10 Percent, Will Trump Cave To Re-open The Economy At The Expense Of Public Health?

Thursday morning saw the release of a jobless claims report, and it’s good news, especially in terms of where the nation might go from here.

Joyce Boghosian/The White House

More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits across the past week, the New York Times reported. Overall, in the past three weeks, about 16 million Americans have lost their jobs or been laid off, many due to social distancing measures being implemented, requiring a temporary shuttering of the economy, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s only predicted to get worse as time goes by. Some economists, in fact, predict that by the end of the month we could see 20 million Americans out of work.

Some on social media were placing the blame on President Donald Trump directly. Siva Vaidhyanathan, a columnist at The Guardian and Wired, noted that the quick change in unemployment rates (from 3.5 percent earlier this year, now to 10 percent who are without work in the U.S.) happened much faster than what the country saw in the 1930s.

“It took more than a year of the Great Depression to get to 10 percent unemployment. The Trump depression hit that in three weeks,” Vaidhyanathan wrote.

With the unemployment rate steadily climbing, it’s probable that the president will push harder for the economy to reopen across the country in the next few days, in spite of health experts warning him not to do so.

Already, there are rumblings that Trump is prepared to announce the formation of a second coronavirus task force — this one with the charge of ending the social distancing measures (which appear to be doing actual good at the moment) in order to get the economy going again.

Trump’s desire to fix the economy at the expense of the national health may be political in nature. In a number of polls across his presidency, Americans have held low opinions of the president, but have actually graded him well on the economy.

Having a large proportion of the American electorate unemployed during an election year is not a good start for Trump, seven months out from Election Day 2020.

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