New Hampshire U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin tells President Trump that the coronavirus shutdown must end this weekend. Any indefinite extension will crater the economy and preclude a prompt recovery. Trump’s reelection prospects will be dead. Andy says the scientists and medical experts have it all wrong.
ANDY MARTIN /2020
Republican for U. S. Senator
P.O. Box 742
Manchester, NH 03105-0742
Cellphone: (347) 960-9593
Fax (866) 214-3210
April 22, 2019
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Coronavirus disaster and your reelection
I always like to remind you that forty years ago I approved your lease to move into the Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue. Later, you asked me to meet with your architects for Trump Tower, so we go back a long way. Until recently, I had an original set of the blueprints for Trump Tower.
Forty years later, I am again giving you advice.
First, I support everything you have done in terms of the fifteen-day moratorium on movement to fight the coronavirus emergency.
Second, I must advise you that unless you end the moratorium at the end of fifteen days, you are not likely to be reelected. The republic will survive; but your electoral prospects will not.
Eighty million Americans are quarantined. Only a handful need to be in that status. The doctors’ warnings become ever more lurid, while the threat of an actual emergency recedes. America is not Italy. Why don’t the media ever mention Germany, where there have been far fewer deaths?
In this letter I would like to provide a road map for you to understand why you must end the moratorium and reverse course if you are to save the economy and save your own prospects for reelection.
1. There is a reason scientists do not run the world
Doctors and scientists are usually very bright people. But they live in their own medical/laboratory silos. They are asked to treat disease, not provide practical solutions for the fate of 330 million Americans. The American people elected you, not doctors and scientists, to make life and death decisions about our nation. You have a great science team and I do not have a bad word to say about any of them. But they are not charged with saving the nation, you are. Doctors and scientists have manifested a narrow focus on the disease, and not focused on the economic disease of shutting down the nation’s economy. Their perspective is much too narrow.
2. The economy is much worse than you realize
I am sure you have seen the same numbers I have. The economy is disintegrating much faster than anyone anticipated. In a couple of weeks there will be little left to save. People who live week to week live week to week. Even prosperous middle-class families have few reserves. Burdening the economy with trillions in “stimulus” will only stifle the recovery. The sooner you act, the less damage to the economy, the better the prospect of an expedited recovery.
3. There is no such thing as a “V” recovery right now
There have, of course, been quick recoveries from some recessions in our history. But the current recession is not like earlier experiences. Advisers who tell you that workers who have been devastated economically are just going to turn on and start spending in June or July are, frankly, nuts. There will be no V-style recovery if you allow the shutdown to persist beyond the 15-day cutoff. A two trillion-dollar stimulus law will be a drop in the bucket by the time the relief actually reaches workers and businesses.
4. Sensible public health measures can still continue
Even as you direct that life resume (but no federal aid to states and cities that refuse to resume operations) sensible measures can be continued. People should still wash their hands. Avoid crowds when possible, etc. But, ultimately, most people are healthy and are going to remain healthy.
5. You must act like Rudy Giuliani did, on 9/12, not 9/11
You and I were both in New York on 9/11. We saw the collapse in public confidence. Rudy Giuliani did a masterly job on 9/11 by holding the city together. But his greatest work came the next day, 9/12. I have often said that if Mayor Dinkins had been in charge, New York would still be wallowing in 9/11 remorse.
Giuliani, on the other hand, realized that to save the city he had to order an immediate restart. He ordered city government to resume operations. The subways started running, city services were opened. Restarting after 9/11 was difficult for a few days but the city survived because Giuliani forced it to revive.
Today, some of your advisors want you to believe that you can destroy the economy and it will simply “restart” on command some time in the summer. That is not happening. A few days of disintegration can be recovered; weeks of decay and financial collapse will not be undone with the flick of a switch.
6. Like a quarterback, you must throw the ball ahead, not behind
You need to be a risk taker as never before. Like a quarterback, what you do this Friday will have to anticipate where the disease and public health measures will be next week and beyond, not where they are today. If you wait for the doctors and scientists to sound the “all clear,” the economy will be dead and it will take years to revive, not days or weeks.
The medical establishment is rushing to create new cures and new ways to care for patients. Those efforts are proceeding exponentially. By anticipating those efforts will be successful you, as the quarterback, need to throw the ball forward so that the public can receive the benefits early, not late.
7. Think like an economist, not a scientist
Some media, and even you, have tossed around “war” analogies. But war analogies all point to the opposite approach. In war, you take risks with lives to ultimately save lives. A few weeks ago, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the landing on Iwo Jima. The Navy knew there would be casualties. But no one knew how many. Tens of thousands of Marines were killed or wounded. The losses were horrific. Should we have stopped the war because of those loses? Of course not.
Should we destroy the economy to save a few thousand lives? I would say “no.” We need to risk lives to save the economy. (Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick has a similar approach.) You remember during the Viet-Nam War when an officer said “We had to destroy the village of Ben Tré to save it.” Are you going to be the president who destroys our economy to save it? I hope not.
An economist would calculate the potential loss of life against the potential ruin to the economy. A few days ago, we heard there were “100,000 cases in Ohio.” Where are they? There have been wildly exaggerated estimates of death and injury by politicians and scientists. The actual loss of life has been minimal. You can safely risk a few lives to save the nation. That is what a war president would do.
If you wait until the public health crisis is over to sound an “all clear” for the economy, your presidency will be over and your reelection prospects will be dead. All the Democrats have to do is sit on the sidelines and sabotage you, and then allow their media sycophants to claim the Democrats, not you, won the inevitable victory.
If you have brass cohones, I would pull the relief bills from the congress and save taxpayers trillions of dollars. We are only proposing to spend trillions because we anticipate a self-inflicted injury on the economy. If you jump-start the economy this weekend and order people and events to reopen, the long-term injury will be minimal and you won’t need anywhere as much stimulus.
You could save a minimum of a trillion dollars in unnecessary spending and taxation. Most people can survive the 15-day shutdown, small business and large companies alike. They will grit their teeth, struggle and restart their businesses next Monday. No one has to be ordered to restart or resume. Most people will want to assume the declining health risk to save their lives and their businesses. The need for massive stimulus will be minimized. The medical risk will be manageable.
By a symbolic leader. Reserve a table at The Palm for Monday night. Go out to a fast food place (no delivery to the White House!). Fly on an airline. It will create a world of confidence. That’s what real wartime president do. Be visible, not hidden in the WH. The Gipper knew what to do, how to rally public opinion. You have a template.
If you wait another couple of weeks to reopen the economy, the economy will be dead and claims of a “V” recession will prove illusory, at least for your reelection prospects. The “man who destroyed our economy” will be the Democrats’ new President Herbert Hoover.
I want you reelected.
Be bold. Be brave. Reopen the economy. Full speed ahead is the only way to save America. And save your presidency.
P.S. Some good news on the anti-malaria pill you are pushing into widespread testing and distribution to care for coronavirus patients. I went to Viet-Nam several times (www.AndyMartin.com). Soldiers were routinely given the anti-malaria drug. It was called the “shit pill” for obvious reasons. Hundreds of thousands of veterans can attest it is safe. (Because I was a civilian, I was not compelled to take the pill; I didn’t.) Today’s pill is a variation on the Viet-Nam era drug.
© Copyright by Andy Martin 2020 – All Rights Reserved
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