Tea Party godfather Rick Santelli wants to infect everyone on the planet with coronavirus. He says that will save the economy from disaster.
Rick Santelli is sick and tired of the coronavirus. In fact, he hates the coronavirus so much that he’s willing to infect everyone on the planet with it – including you. That way, we can bring the spread of Covid-19 to an early end, and the global economy can return to normal.
I’m not kidding; this is exactly what Santelli wants (via Twitter):
In a bizarre rant on CNBC yesterday, he railed against the precautionary measures nations and businesses are taking to protect people from coronavirus. He says authorities should force everyone to contract Covid-19.
Following some short-term pain, the economy can return to normal in a month or so. Minus the estimated 261.8 million people who would die from the deadly disease, of course.
Being a key figure behind the Tea Party movement, I guess this is what Santelli’s means by “free market” economics: The U.S. government kills off a bunch of old, sick, and/or poor people so that the stock market recovers and corporations continue making billions.
Unsurprisingly, Rick Santelli’s moronic diatribe attracted a considerable amount of flack on Twitter. And with good cause, because it was utterly insane.
Santelli’s primary argument is that we’d never quarantine “everybody” because of the common flu. So why should we do it for the coronavirus?
Obviously, the editors at CNBC (they have editors, right?) forgot to remind Santelli that flu has a death rate of only 0.1%. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization confirmed that the coronavirus has a probable death rate of 3.4%.
So Santelli’s argument is already beginning to fall apart. Assuming a global population of 7.7 billion, infecting the entire world with the coronavirus would result in roughly 261.8 million deaths.
Not great. But the icing on Rick Santelli’s blood-stained cake is that he thinks infecting everyone at the same time would be a good thing.
Because the mortality rate of this probably isn’t going to be any different if we did it that way.
Um, that’s not quite right, Rick.
Yes, certain experienced and reputable virologists have said that as much of 80% of the world’s population will sooner or later be infected by the coronavirus. So the coronavirus will infect “everyone” (used here very loosely) anyway. So why not give it to everyone now?
If everyone on Earth had coronavirus at the same time, the shock to the global economy would be catastrophic.
For one, the strain on the world’s hospital systems would be unthinkably immense. Not only would an estimated 261.8 million people die from the disease, but hundreds of millions more would need medical attention.
Meanwhile, the world’s economies would come to a virtual standstill. Millions – maybe billions – of people would be unable to work. And yes, the stock market – the very thing Rick Santelli is trying to save! – would likely fall off a cliff as a result. Assuming it isn’t closed altogether.
Still, we should thank Rick Santelli for making such a harebrained proposal. It’s perfectly emblematic of the “libertarian” politics he represents: superficially “logical,” ridiculously “self-interested,” and “hard-nosed” – but actually illogical, self-defeating, and superstitious.
After all, what’s the one way to ensure that “everyone” contracts coronavirus? By calling on central governments to take the lead. But in Rick Santelli’s libertarian fantasy world, shouldn’t governments be as “small” as possible?
Ah yes, I forgot: When it comes to protecting finance and capital, government should be as big as possible.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.