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September 27, 2023

GOP presidential hopefuls take renewed aim at efforts to combat covid

With the 2020 presidential election fast approaching, Republican presidential hopefuls are taking aim at the efforts to combat COVID-19. President Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of measures such as lockdowns and economic relief programs, calling them "draconian" and arguing they will do more harm than good. GOP contenders such as Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld have also voiced their opposition to the president's approach to managing the pandemic. Sanford, a former South Carolina governor, has argued that the lockdowns implement are “a huge overreach of government in general” and that countries should be focusing on using technology such as contact tracing instead. Walsh, a former Illinois congressman, said last month that the impact of the pandemic and economic relief measures such as the $2 trillion CARES Act created by Congress “hurt America” and that “nothing good” has come from it. Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, pointed to the issues of government spending, saying there should have been “greater degrees of fiscal restraint”. All of the Republicans have suggested better ways for the government to manage the pandemic, such as speeding up access to testing and treatments, and extending flexible work schedules to allow people to stay home when necessary. They have also suggested shortening the length of lockdowns and allowing businesses to open safely with the proper safety measures. It remains to be seen whether the Republican presidential hopefuls’ stance on COVID-19 relief efforts will make significant headway in the upcoming election.