This article originally appeared on Fox News on August 1, 2020.
The second-quarter gross domestic product report issued Thursday showing the U.S. economy shrank by 9.5 percent from April through June wasn’t pretty. But while it’s no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the economies of virtually every nation in the world, our economy is now on the rebound and the damage it suffered was not nearly as bad as it could have been.
Let’s start with an important fact: the economic shutdown in the U.S. was bipartisan, just as shutdowns around the world had the support of multiple political parties. The coronavirus originated in China and spread to every corner of the globe without regard to which political parties were in power.
Governors in the U.S. from both parties shut down their states’ economies in response to guidance from nonpartisan public health experts. The point was to combat the spread of the coronavirus, reduce its impact on our health care system, and protect the health and lives of the American people.
Both Democrats and Republicans knew the shutdowns would have economic consequences, but most deemed the tradeoffs worth the costs. As expected, we are now experiencing those economic consequences in terms of high unemployment and diminished growth.
That makes it particularly disturbing that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is attempting to blame President Trump for the bipartisan shutdown’s long-anticipated economic consequences. Reacting to the decline in second-quarter GDP, the former vice president said “the depth of economic devastation our nation is experiencing is not an act of God, it’s a failure of presidential leadership.”
Biden’s claim is particularly hypocritical as the “depth of the economic devastation” to which he refers has been exacerbated by states with Democratic governors (such as California and New York) continuing their economic shutdowns to varying degrees. If you believe it’s a good idea to continue the shutdowns, you should at least be willing to accept the consequences of high unemployment and negative growth.
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