Cheering protests against social distancing, Rush Limbaugh likens risks from opening the economy to risks of fighting in world wars

Limbaugh also says that Trump understands financial difficulty from the shutdown: “Trump has been there, by the way”

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Citation From the April 17, 2020, edition of Premiere Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): So, Kathryn and I were chatting about the daily brief yesterday, after the president announced the phased reopening plan for the country. And it has to happen, I — folks, there is no delaying this any further.

And you see all over the country now, people are revolting against certain state governors who want to maintain lockdown. It can’t go on. This forced shutdown — the forced ruination of the United States economy — must end. And I can’t tell you, I was longing for that day yesterday.

I have been longing for the White House briefing to be what it was yesterday, for a month. I cannot describe for you — I’ve tried. During the course of every day’s busy broadcast, I have tried to convey my concern and fear — for you, for all of us, for everybody.

I’ve been there. I don’t know how many of the people who are among our experts setting policy — I don’t know how many of them have been broke. I don’t know how many of them have been where 22 million Americans are — without a job, without any income, and unemployment compensation that just will not get it done. I don’t know how many — there may be some, I’m sure that the law of averages would dictate some have been there. But I don’t know how many.

And I get the impression from — Trump has been there, by the way. Trump has been at the edge of the cliff, looking over it. His survival techniques are a fascinating story, and why they’re not going to damage him, ultimately, with every effort they’re going to mount on this.

But you look at some of these people. I don’t want to mention any names — names are not the important thing here. It’s the ability to relate, the ability to have some kind of empathy.

And while I understand the nature of leadership, and I understand the nature of expertise and intelligence, it simply is better if there are people in the policymaking sphere who’ve been there, who are — or have faced similar circumstances — far better than people who are not feeling threatened financially by any of this. And I think that way too many people in some positions of authority and power really don’t face dire economic circumstances, like an increasing number of the American people do.

It worries me. As I say, I’ve been there, and it has — it’s scary to me, just the memories of being in that circumstance. And it was a number of different times for me. It’s scary to remember it. But it enables me to understand what people are going through and, how it cannot go on. It simply can’t.

There may be great risk in reopening the country, in phases. There may be great risk in sending people back out to start working — even under the guidelines, they’re risks that have to be taken.

They are certainly no different than the risks the American people have taken throughout our history. We had to get involved in World War II, once we were attacked by the Japanese. We had to get involved in World War I, by — we didn't want — we had to get involved in order to defend and protect ourselves.

These were risks that we tried to avoid taking for the longest time. But we had to get involved. We had to take risks after 9/11. We had to take a number — we've had to take risks our entire history as a nation.

Taking risks, entrepreneurism, fearlessness, it’s a hallmark of the American identity, and of the American culture. And this shutdown, and hunkering down in total fear, is not a hallmark of American history,  or of American culture.