Some people are so confused about “fake vs. real news.” They have stopped believing facts and scientific evidence. Conspiracy theorists, Fox News personalities and President Trump have acted as if coronavirus is an ordinary flu, rarely mentioning that people who have the virus can infect others even before they have visible symptoms. Conservatives downplay the number of Americans who may become very sick or die because some business owners care more about their investments than about workers’ lives.

Some politicians want to make people go back to work in still dangerous conditions so they will lose their unemployment compensation.

Some demonstrators don’t seem to care if thousands of old people die from coronavirus. (Fact check: it’s not just old people and every life matters.)

Scientists and doctors know that many early coronavirus deaths were never even counted. A draft government report predicts that by June 1 there will be 3,000 deaths every day. Medical experts fear the death rate will continue to increase: reopening our economy too soon will make illness and death worse.

Governments in civilized countries know that, during a crisis, their duty is to help all citizens, not to worry about reelection or blame others for their problems. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution says the government should provide for the general welfare. That phrase does not mean “let more Americans die from coronavirus by failing to take the actions needed to prevent it.”

Ellen Field, New Gloucester

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