I read your editorial on April 19 (“State must restart its economy quickly”) with sadness in my heart. I’m starting my medical education in Spokane next year, and I chose to stay here in part because I love how this community serves its vulnerable members. I found the logic behind your call to reopen the economy to be repugnant. There is a real imperative to open the economy, but your take was callous.
You cloak your argument in a humanitarian facade, stating that the most economically disenfranchised during this time are low-income Americans and citizens of color. You fail to mention that those same communities are poised to suffer the most severe health consequences from this virus. For many uninsured people, the sequelae of their illness will include economic ruin.
You also suggest that it is “not wise to risk the wealth and strength” of the entire nation on a “relatively small number of lives that statistically tend to be older and have pre-existing conditions.” Your logic is heartless, even if you are correct about which groups will suffer most by prioritizing wealth via a rapidly re-opened economy. It reveals that you are incapable of imagining how older adults and the vulnerable among us contribute to the “wealth” of this nation in a deeper and richer sense.
You may be right about the urgency of reopening the economy, but your reasoning stinks. As a community, we should oppose utilitarian logic that devalues vulnerable lives. We should fight for creative, life-affirming, practical alternatives.