Failure to reopen economy causes death and destruction also

April 21, 2020, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging states to reopen their economies as soon as possible:

“In nine days, many governors across the nation are making plans on how to reopen all or part of their economies. Predictably, some worry that moving away from strict social distancing policies will have negative health consequences. What these people miss is that these distancing policies bring forth known problems associated with extreme poverty, including increased suicides, depression and substance abuse. On the substance abuse front alone, we know that 70,000 a year were losing their lives to opioid overdoses alone, and that that number has been significantly cut over the past couple of years.

“We also know that there were 40,000 more suicides than expected during the Great Recession, and that the UN just released a report stating that hundreds of thousands of children will die due to the increased poverty created in the economic shutdown. Let’s be clear, this is not an easy situation, but when 5.5 million Americans are filing for unemployment claims on average the past four weeks, with no end in sight, the personal and national devastation wrought by the social distancing cure is not sustainable and the President and our nation’s governors must act to balance. The President took a great step forward in providing guidance on reopening America state by state, and it is expected he will continue to provide the best ideas available on ways private businesses can meet the needs of their employees and customers in these unique times.

“One relatively undiscussed result of the private sector shutdown is that local, state and federal governments will all see dramatic revenue losses from staying shut down too long at a time when their expenditures are increased. Recognizing this early, if states and local governments are unwilling to lay off non-essential government employees before the situation becomes critical, then aggressively reopening is the only alternative.”

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