“I know we don’t have space outfits [laughter]—I mean, just thinking out loud, and maybe this is a crazy idea, but instead of just locking down the economy, putting everybody in a kind of—you’re right. You have to make 200 million of these, but it wouldn’t have cost $3 trillion to do that,” Moore blathered. “And you can have for months people just walking around in these kind of—I mean, I was looking online, and there are all these kinds of suits that they’re building now that you’re not exposed and you’re breath—kind of ventilator.”
As The American Independent points out, Moore’s previous greatest hits are many and varied: “He joked about using a picture of Hillary Clinton’s face as a bullseye when he potty trained his son. And he said he scared his sons out of becoming a Democrat by taping gruesome photo’s of Saddam Hussein’s sons mangled dead corpses along with the words ‘THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO KIDS THAT GROW UP TO BE DEMOCRATS.’”
These are presumably the same children for whom Moore failed to pay child support, leading to him being held in contempt of court. He’s also made a lot of “mistakes” on his taxes resulting in a tax lien against him.
This is a man with a platform in The New York Times to spout off about putting all working Americans in “space outfits” for months on end—in the summer heat. In the same interview, Moore held forth, economist-style, about how “we’re doing some studies on this now that there is a big, big difference in terms what the economy is going to look like six months and nine months and a year from now based on opening the economy, say, May 1st versus June 1st or June 15th.”
When Lerer, later in the interview, asked “isn’t the concern of the second outbreak part of what necessitates the stay-at-home orders,” Moore dodged and weaved and didn’t acknowledge the real issue there—but of course, if things reopen now, the worry isn’t even just about a second outbreak. It’s about the first outbreak regaining steam—and the damage there would be counted not just in thousands of lives but also in economic damage. It turns out that widespread death is bad for the economy, too.
I wish on two levels that I could say it’s unfortunate that it took a deadly pandemic to uncover how stupid these masters of the universe are. But I can’t because, first, it was always visible if you were looking, and second, no matter how much stupid stuff he says about coronavirus, he’ll still be a conservative economist in good standing and in line for positions advising Republican presidents and at conservative think tanks and advocacy groups. The fact that this man and others like him have any role in our public life is a condemnation of the system in which he thrives.