Trump is weighing the economy vs lives saved. That is his job
No leader wants to be in the position Trump is in. For instance, it has been stated that Winston Churchill knew in advance of a bombing raid on Coventry but chose to take no action. Ignoring the controversy over the assertion, this comment at the end is apropos
"But even if Churchill had known at that short notice (that Coventry was to be targeted) imagine the logistics of evacuating a city the size of Coventry - it would have been enormous."
In other words, even if Churchill knew the target of the raid, it would not have been feasible to evacuate an entire city on short notice.
COVID-19 is more prone to major medical problems like serious lung damage (among others), especially in elderly people. You can't just treat and release a large number of these sicker people. They need weeks of hospitalization. That contributes to a higher death rate
The death rate from seasonal flu is typically around 0.1% in the U.S., according to The New York Times.
Though the death rate for COVID-19 is unclear, most research suggests it is higher than that of the seasonal flu.
In the study published Feb. 18 in the China CDC Weekly, researchers found a death rate from COVID-19 to be around 2.3% in mainland China. Another study of about 1,100 hospitalized patients in China, published Feb. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the overall death rate was slightly lower, around 1.4%.
There's two terrible choices before Trump, each with their own consequences
Now, Trump did say
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.- Donald J Trump
but ditching the quarantine too early means that everything done up until now has been for naught. People go back to their lives, COVID-19 spreads, and the virus apocalypse for hospitals still comes to pass (plus we all go back to social distancing, whether or not we want to).
What's more, the findings suggest that if these measures — including school and workplace closures — are lifted too soon, a second wave of cases may occur in midsummer. However, keeping these measures in place until early April — which the city plans to do — and gradually resuming activities would likely delay this second wave of cases until the fall; giving the health care system much-need time to expand and respond to the epidemic, the authors said.
If that happens, Trump will be toast in the polls.
Trump was going to run on the strong economy
"When you have the best economy probably that we've ever had – I don't know. How the hell do you lose this election, right?" Trump asked a crowd of supporters during a rally in northeastern Pennsylvania last year.
Obviously, that is out now. But Trump isn't wrong to worry about the economy. A ridiculously large portion of the US economy is entirely shut down, and some people are confined solely within their homes, save some limited activity. When the quarantine is over, a significant portion of people may find their former employers are no longer in business. Understand, this event is wholly unprecedented
The mammoth $2 trillion rescue package on the brink of heading to President Donald Trump’s desk would plug some of the massive holes coronavirus is ripping through the American economy.
But the massive effort — the largest single injection of federal cash into the economy in U.S. history — will do nothing to flip the switch back on for an economy enduring the swiftest paralyzation any major developed nation has ever seen.
To be certain, the longer the shutdown goes on, the further we sail into uncharted waters. Congress cannot continue to pass stimulus bills to keep the economy afloat forever, and we have no idea what a 3 month partial economic shutdown will do, let alone double that. And that assumes a lot of things like trade go back to normal quickly.
There is no easy answer here
Regardless of who is in the White House, you're going to have to decide which side you err on. Good and honest people can disagree about which side they would err on, but this decision rests solely with Trump. Only time will tell if his decisions will save lives at the cost of economy or vice versa. Regardless, some people may die or wind up unemployed, and they will blame the President. That is the cost of being President in such a time as this.