In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the federal and state governments' powers have greatly expanded. Governor Cuomo of New York recently ordered the shutdown of all nonessential businesses and is asking citizens to stay in their homes as much as possible. My generation has never experienced such a restriction of freedom.
It's downright terrifying.
President Trump is attempting to remedy the damage being done to the economy via checks sent to those whose jobs have been negatively impacted by government-issued shutdowns. The unemployment rate, previously at 3%, is expected to rise to 6-7%. This is a major problem for all businesses, big and small. If big businesses go bankrupt, workers will have no workplace to return to when all is said and done.
This global pandemic is undeniably not political. Trump has stated multiple times he wants the shutdowns to end, the economy to thrive. He also wants to beat the virus. Partisanship aside, all of America is united against a common enemy, COVID-19.
Not everyone sees it this way.
Bernie Bros have taken to Twitter, praising the government's overreaching and totalitarian measures, policies reminiscent of those proposed by their beloved Bernie Sanders. They argue that it took a global pandemic to assign "human rights." They have even stated that America would be so much better off right now if healthcare were socialized.
This is simply wrong.
Increasing government intervention in daily life during a pandemic is not the same as overthrowing the system entirely. These are war-time, emergency measures. Bernie Sanders wishes to create an America which functions as if there is always a pandemic, as if the people always need to be afraid. There is a significant difference between issuing government payments during an unprecedented period of mass unemployment and simply handing out UBI payments every month. The latter destroys any and all incentives to work. The American people are currently itching to get back to work.
As for socialized healthcare, I am not sure how exactly they think this would have benefited America's battle against coronavirus. Simply look to Italy, a country with a national healthcare system. They are now reporting more deaths than China, where the virus originated. Their latest fatality rate hovers around eight percent, while the United States' has dropped to around one percent. More factors are to blame of course, such as an aging population and more intermingling between young and old generations. However, Italy's healthcare facilities simply cannot deal with the mass influx of patients. Bernie Bros advocate for the complete abolition of all private healthcare. Thirty percent of Italy's healthcare is privatized, and yet they are still facing a disaster in their fight against COVID-19. Socialized healthcare prior to this outbreak would have devastated America's healthcare facilities and workers.
The increase in government authority during this unprecedented crisis is not proof of the strength of Bernie's policies. Advocating for emergency powers at all times, even when there is no emergency, is simply foolish. America is the country best equipped to deal with COVID-19.
The empty supermarket shelves of late are reminiscent of images from Cuba and Venezuela, two countries Bernie has expressed much affection for. The difference between us and them, however, is that ours are filled the next day, if not the next hour.
Others are not so lucky.