Coronavirus cases and deaths are continuing to grow in the U.S. at staggering speeds, and there remains no sure way to actually treat the virus, so the danger inherent in potential future waves of outbreaks remains stark. Yet, that danger did not stop Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt from insisting this weekend that churches should get a chance to reopen, at least temporarily for Mother’s Day, although, quite simply, bringing large groups of people together in hard-hit areas could lead to sharp upticks in Coronavirus cases and deaths. Spikes in cases have already been documented after other recent holidays, like Easter.
Asked for her “message… to people that want to be back in church,” Earhardt commented this weekend:
‘Oh, my goodness! I miss our church. I miss our friends there. I miss our ministers and just the music and everyone being together… Depending on your region, I understand why people want to open back up. Some of these counties in Michigan that the churches are suing the governor there because there aren’t that many cases… the third church that’s suing is Word of Faith Christian Center Church. They have had more deaths. They have had almost 900 deaths in that county, but they have almost 72,000 people that live in that county too… So I understand. If they are going to open them up, let’s do it safely and distance yourself from one another and these churches say they have a plan to do that.’
So, Earhardt seems to be advocating for opening up communities including those in which almost 900 people have died in a single county. If Earhardt’s numbers are correct, then in the hard-hit county that she singled out, over one percent of everyone in the entire county has died due to the Coronavirus. That’s a staggering rate of death. If the same rate was observed in a county with, say, a quarter of a million inhabitants, then over 2,500 deaths could be possible, with more than one out of every one hundred people dead from the same disease. Yet, these dismal numbers do not seem to have entirely fazed Earhardt out of her apparent conviction that churches should be relied upon.
‘So, we need Christ, we need God. A lot of people are hurting, suicides are up and other things are up… A lot of people are sad and are missing their friends and there are consequences to that. So I just want it to be a balance, and I don’t want the cure — as the president says — to be worse than the pandemic.’
To be clear: over 80,000 people have died in the U.S. due to the Coronavirus, and the University of Washington projects tens of thousands of more deaths due to the disease in coming weeks. Republicans have not exactly shown the highest amount of care for social issues in the past, so their sudden supposed concern for worker protection isn’t exactly entirely credible.
If communities reopen without effective virus mitigation strategies in place, Coronavirus cases and deaths will likely spike, and no level of niceties from a Fox News host will whisk that fact out of existence.