Republican Senator Ron Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I’m not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it’s obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population. But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.”
He added that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less…”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently over 329 million Americans. If, to use the senator’s phrasing, the coronavirus were to kill “maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population,” that would mean the death of over 9 million Americans. If the 3.4 percent figure is high, and it turns out that the virus is fatal to 1 percent of the population, that’s still over 3 million American deaths.
Just in case you were missing out on the essential Republican concern over national disasters.