Right-wing economist Stephen Moore faced backlash after proposing an out-of-this-world idea to reopen American businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The White House adviser, who is a member of President Donald Trump’s council focused on reopening the economy, suggested in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday that people could be given “space outfits.”
“I was thinking this morning, and this is just kind of a thought experiment because I was thinking about this — why don’t we just put everybody in a space outfit or something like that? No. Seriously, I mean,” he told reporter Lisa Lerer, acknowledging “really good public safety measures” would also be key to slowing the spread of the virus that has killed almost 50,000 people nationwide.
Continued Moore, per the article:
I know we don’t have space outfits [laughter]— I mean, just thinking out loud, and maybe this is a crazy idea, but instead of just locking down the economy, putting everybody in a kind of — you’re right. You have to make 200 million of these, but it wouldn’t have cost $3 trillion to do that. And you can have for months people just walking around in these kind of — I mean, I was looking online, and there are all these kinds of suits that they’re building now that you’re not exposed and you’re breath — kind of ventilator.
The proposal was widely derided on Twitter, where critics of Moore’s comment pointed out the struggles that some states have endured in sourcing protective equipment for workers on the front line of the public health crisis:
Moore last year was Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. He withdrew his nomination following bipartisan opposition.
He drew widespread scorn last week after repeatedly likening protesters against stay-at-home orders to civil rights activist Rosa Parks. “I call these people modern-day Rosa Parks. They are protesting against injustice and a loss of liberties,” said Moore, who is also part of the conservative “Save Our Country” coalition that is calling for a quicker reopening of the economy.
Last month, Moore asked Fox News host Laura Ingraham if California’s statewide lockdown was worth the damage to its economy, describing it as a “very dangerous, almost Orwellian situation.”
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