The ideological chasm continues to grow between health professionals who urge that it's too soon to reopen the economy and economic professionals who insist that keeping businesses closed will destroy the economy.
The virus that prompted non-essential businesses across the country to close has left over 90 thousand Americans dead and millions more unemployed. Most states have begun to take measures allowing certain businesses to open their doors with limited capacity and other precautions.
But health experts warn that a complete return to normal likely won't happen until a vaccine or cure for the virus is formulated and distributed.
Nevertheless, certain officials within President Donald Trump's administration—along with the President himself—are urging governors to reopen their states in an effort to prop up the Obama-era economic stability Trump sees as crucial for his reelection.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is among those officials, and he testified today before the Senate Banking Committee to make his case to Congress for the economy's reopening.
That was when Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
.@SenSherrodBrown: How many workers should give their lives to increase our GDP by half a percent or the Dow Jones… https://t.co/0Jl15MBHYE— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1589899121.0
Brown asked Mnuchin a pointed question:
"How many workers should give their lives to increase our GDP by half a percent?"
The Senator went on to list the ways the Trump administration was calling for reopening without proper safety measures:
"There's been no national program to provide worker safety. The President says 'reopen slaughter houses,' nothing about slowing the line down, nothing about getting protective equipment. How many workers should give their lives to increase the GDP or the Dow Jones by a thousand points."
Mnuchin attempted to deny Brown's accusations:
"No workers should give their lives to do that, Mr. Senator and I think your characterization is unfair. We have provided enormous amounts of equipment, we've worked with the governors, we've done a terrific job."
The Treasury Secretary was lying. Thanks to the Trump administration, bidding wars broke out between states and even against the federal government due to a shortage of lifesaving equipment during the virus's early stages. As for working with governors, Trump actively picked fights on Twitter with governors who criticized the federal response.
He even told Vice President Mike Pence not to take the calls of governors who weren't "appreciative" enough.
That likely explains why Brown was having none of Mnuchin's vague justifications.
"I'm not gonna let you make a political speech about what a great job. We hear that from the President's news conferences when in fact the President has still not led an effort to scale up testing. He's played...state against state, hospital against hospital to get protective equipment. Everybody in the country—your comments notwithstanding—knows that."
People were here for Brown's rebuttal.
Can we please give Sherrod Brown the entire stage. https://t.co/JP3qARUuqI— sam sklar, who has a newsletter now (@sam sklar, who has a newsletter now) 1589915216.0
We need way more of this @SenSherrodBrown! The truth. https://t.co/j38Gx2tt1S— Mr. Sosa (@Mr. Sosa) 1589909307.0
💯💯 ain't like we can't see whats going on. https://t.co/r2wWsay8Jr— Tweek R Bear (@Tweek R Bear) 1589912477.0
more of this truth, more, more, more... https://t.co/zxbdpxg3c0— Mitch Rustad (@Mitch Rustad) 1589909646.0
The appearance certainly didn't do Mnuchin any favors.
#Mnuchin is the rich man who wanted to use taxpayer $ to fly his Hermes scarf-wearing wife to Europe for a honeymoo… https://t.co/icOU6FO17j— Maya Wiley (@Maya Wiley) 1589903535.0
I wish there was a more reasonable answer as to why Steve Mnuchin has only dispersed $37.4B out of the $500B approv… https://t.co/JVJuekmyaR— Ricky Davila (@Ricky Davila) 1589907416.0
Watching today's Banking Committee hearing with Steve Mnuchin makes it clear: Americans need greater transparency f… https://t.co/R2owCglx5w— Ron Wyden (@Ron Wyden) 1589909326.0
The swamp is as murky as ever.