Thomas Gallatin / March 27, 2020

Leftmedia Pans Trump’s Comparison to Traffic Deaths

His point was to raise real ethical consequences of economic damage in our pandemic response.

We’re still in the midst of the China Virus pandemic, which has forced the indefinite closure of many businesses and the subsequent layoff of millions of American workers, all in an emergency effort to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. Naturally, legitimate concern has grown over how long the country can endure these quarantine conditions before creating another widespread crisis — an economic depression. This pressing concern was the context for President Donald Trump’s recent comments for which he has been roundly derided for making a false-equivalency argument.

Echoing his comments about not letting the cure become worse than the disease, Trump stated, “We lose thousands and thousands of people every year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off. … We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn’t call up the automobile companies and say, ‘Stop making cars. We don’t want anymore cars.’ We have to get back to work.”

“Your analysis comparing car accident deaths is bad,” The Washington Post squealed. “This comparison to car accidents falls apart simply because we don’t know the scale of deaths from the virus. We do know something about the virus that makes obvious how bad the comparison is: that it’s a virus.” In other words, the argument is that Trump is attempting to compare apples to oranges. But was Trump actually arguing that since we accept 35,000 to 40,000 annual traffic deaths we shouldn’t be concerned over a virus that could result in similar numbers of deaths?

The short answer is no. Instead, the point Trump was raising is the ethical dilemma every society and individual face every single day, whether we recognize it or not: At what point does the benefit of engaging in an action outweigh the potential negative consequences? With Trump’s auto-accident analogy, he notes that even with thousands of annual traffic deaths, American society at large believes the benefits from driving outweigh the negative consequences.

This is the same dilemma that he and the country face currently as we weigh the cost-benefit ratios associated with attempting to stop the spread of the virus via shutting down vast swaths of the economy against the negative consequences of significantly damaging the economy and people’s livelihoods. Where is the line drawn? That is what Trump was seeking to communicate, not some false-equivalency comparison. People starving to death after the economy is destroyed in an effort to stop the pandemic won’t be a positive outcome.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.