Getting the economy running again, and keeping it running, clearly depends on a unified and focused effort that defeats the deadly COVID-19 virus first.

The just-passed $2 trillion economic rescue package President Donald Trump signed into law Friday will clearly help bolster the collapsing U.S. economy for the next few weeks, but the economy here and elsewhere will not regain full strength as long as consumers are afraid. Because of that, our national and state political leaders should stop acting as if fighting the virus is a second concern with the economy being the first.

It must be the other way around.

Telling Americans things will be back to normal in a few weeks when the virus has not been brought to heel is poppycock. Aside from being in direct contrast with what medical experts say is necessary, it would be a perfect way to further destroy our economy by prolonging the pandemic.