News Release

Trump to Us: Drop Dead

JAMES G. KAHN, MD, MPH, JGKahn at ucsf.edu
Dr. Kahn is emeritus professor at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Institute for Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco.

He said today: “Tuesday, Donald Trump floated the idea of ending the stay-at-home guidance currently widely in effect to suppress COVID-19 transmission. This strategy is central to the critical goal to ‘flatten the curve’ — aiming to sharply reduce cases in the short-term to minimize total pandemic cases and also to prevent overwhelming of hospital capacity to handle serious cases.

“Trump’s proposal could worsen this crisis to a catastrophe. It prioritizes the economy over saving lives. This action seems aimed to increase economic activity to aid his re-election.

“However, it’s wrong on several levels. First, and most important, it is mean-spirited — amplifying pandemic spread and associated deaths for a political purpose. Second, it is misguided — weakening pandemic control measures now will lead to an even more serious public health and economic crisis later. Third, it supports the false narrative that the pandemic is a hoax. It’s not, it’s very real.”