In an interview broadcast on Thursday night, Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana argued that the United States economy “will collapse” if lockdown measures imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 continue.
Per Mediaite, speaking with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, Kennedy described the lockdown in his state as a “nightmare on Elm Street.”
“For some time now, the state and federal governments have been running the American economy, essentially, and the Louisiana economy. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?” the senator sarcastically asked.
Kennedy argued that the measures imposed by the government are not sustainable and that they will destroy the economy. According to the senator, even if the government does not lift the restrictions, Americans will start rebelling on their own.
“Number one, the economy will collapse and number two, at least the people in my state, are going to stop complying. My governor has said he’s not going to make a decision until May 15. I respect that, but he hasn’t been able to completely convince the people of Louisiana.”
“Many of my people are opening up,” Kennedy added, noting that many Americans do not have the luxury of working from home.
The senator conceded that lockdown measures have been effective when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19 but nevertheless argued that the economy needs to reopen.
According to Kennedy, Americans need to respect social distancing guidelines and take the necessary precautions outlined by the government, but the country needs to reopen. Otherwise, the senator concluded, “the economy will be gone.”
Kennedy has long argued that the United States needs to reopen as soon as possible. Per The Daily Beast, more than two weeks ago, during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, the senator argued that the coronavirus ravaged Louisiana despite lockdown measures. He acknowledged that the government has to make a tough decision and suggested that reopening the economy would be the best way forward.
Most Americans do not seem to share Kennedy’s opinion about lockdown measures. According to a poll from The Economist and YouGov released on Thursday, the vast majority of Americans believe social distancing measures are the best way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, 83 percent of Americans believe social distancing is effective. When it comes to Republicans, 44 percent believe the measures are very effective, and 36 percent think they are possibly effective. The support is even higher among Democrats, 67 percent of whom say such measures are very effective, while 23 percent think they are possibly effective.