Calling COVID-19 an “urban disease” and an “old person’s disease,” Trump adviser Stephen Moore praised Colorado’s weekend protest against stay-at-home orders as “effective” in advancing Moore’s goal of reopening the economy quickly.
“I saw some of the photos of what happened there in Colorado this week,” Moore told KCOL radio Monday, commenting that “people should do the social distancing.”
“But I think those [protests] are so effective,” said Moore on air. “This is a basic right of Americans to protest government policy. And frankly, I think a lot of these decisions are real injustices.”
Moore said he believes “the shutdown was one of the stupidest things we’ve ever done,” causing much more damage than benefit.
“This an urban disease,” Moore told KCOL host Jimmy Lakey on his the “Lakey Effect” morning show. “So it’s 15 cities that have really been negatively affected, most of the rest of the country, you know, very light numbers of people.” The latest CDC data indicates COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting African-Americans.
Last week Moore drew considerable criticism, including from prominent conservative Bill Kristol, for comparing the Michigan protesters to Rosa Parks:
“By the way, it’s an old person’s disease, right,” Moore continued on KCOL. “We are learning more and more about this. The vast, vast majority of deaths are people over the age of 75. It’s a nursing home disease. So we should take care of the people who are most vulnerable, people who are over the age of 75 or people in nursing homes or people who have chronic diseases who are more susceptible to this. But other people are less vulnerable. And they might be infected, but they aren’t going to get really sick. So we should start opening up things.
About 77% of Colorado’s 508 deaths are people over 70, 13% 60-69 years old, 6% 50-59, 3% 40-49, and 1% 30-39 years old. Of the approximately 44,000 deaths reported in the U.S., most are people over 60, but the disease has killed people of all ages.
About 20% of Coloradans aged 50-59, 25% of people 60-69, and 30% of people 70-79 who catch the disease are hospitalized.
If 60,000 or 200,000 or one million people or more contract COVID-19, then you are looking at big numbers across all age groups, both for deaths and hospitalizations, with all the collateral problems for health care as we know it.
Rural hospitals across the country, including Colorado, are bracing for, or already seriously burdened by, the disease.
Moore, whom Trump appointed to an advisory committee on reopening the economy, got national attention last week for bragging to Denver libertarian Jon Caldara about having a “big donor in Wisconsin” who would back protests to open the economy.
Mr. Moore had been coordinating with FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Patriots and the American Legislative Exchange Council in a coalition called ‘Save Our Country,’ which was formed to push for a quicker easing of restrictions.
At the same time, Mr. Moore was communicating with a group of local activists in Wisconsin involved in organizing a protest at the State Capitol set for Friday. On a conservative YouTube program that went online the day Mr. Trump named him to the task force, Mr. Moore said he had “one big donor in Wisconsin” who had pledged financial support for the protesters, telling him, “‘Steve, I promise, I will pay the bail and legal fees of anyone who gets arrested.’”
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Moore declined to identify the donor, but said, “I do think you’re going to see these start to erupt.”
The Times reported on conservative groups, with ties to Trump, who’ve been nudging the stay-at-home protests forward in multiple states.
“People are just fed up,” Moore told Lakey. “A lot of Americans are fed up with what the government has done to our rights. They are fed up with the fact that one of our fundamental rights is to make a living and to have a livelihood. People are becoming more and more desperate. It’s not rich people or university professors or government officials. It’s people on the front line of our economy. I think the liberals are so hypocritical, like, ‘How dare do people protest.’