A GOP congressman said Tuesday that it's better to let Americans die than deal with a tanking economy, and to do otherwise "is to insult" Americans. "Both of these decisions will lead to harm for individuals, whether that’s dramatic economic harm or whether it's loss of life. But it's always the American government's position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life, of American lives, we have to always choose the latter," Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth told WIBC, per the Washington Post. "It is policymakers' decision to put on our big boy and big girl pants and say it is the lesser of these two evils. It is not zero evil, but it is the lesser of these two evils and we intend to move forward that direction," he continued. "That is our responsibility."
"We've got to get Americans back to work, back to their schools, and back to their churches," Hollingsworth went on, echoing President Trump, who in late March said "we can't have the cure be worse than the problem." Reached by CNN, Hollingsworth said it was "hyperbolic" to say that "no economy or widespread casualties" are the only options. "We can … enable as much of the economy to operate as possible while we work to minimize disease transmission." Yet experts say social distancing will ultimately benefit the economy, while reversing the measure will lead to greater hardships. Per MIT Technology Review, economist Michael Greenstone estimates social distancing will save 1.7 million lives by October, which "translates into a benefit of around $8 trillion to the economy." (Read more congressman stories.)