If it hits hard and fast, as it did in Italy, who gets hit the worst? The most vulnerable; and the largest group among them is the elderly.
Now when Grandma, Grandpa or Great-Aunt Whoever takes sick and doesn't get treatment because hospitals are overflowing, who do you suppose their sons, daughters, grandchildren, great-grand-children and all their kin are going to blame?
I'll tell you. They'll blame their Mayor. They'll blame the Governor of their State. They'll blame the President and his administration. And it's not going to be any nice, simple red/blue divide, either. No, whoever is in office and seems most blameable when Grandpa dies will never get a vote from the surviving family, ever.
Cross that with the public-health experts and epidemiologists who point out, correctly, that in a pandemic like this, the actual spread is well ahead of the data we have about it, and you get cities where everyone is told to shelter in place; you get a country where all citizens are being asked to work from home and limit their travel and contact with others.
The politicians know people will die from this. They want to make sure it's as few as possible -- and for once, what they want and what we the citizens want is perfectly aligned, regardless of party, creed or philosophy.
Paranoid speculation does not help, and can do a lot of harm. The loons and fools and yes, those fine, fine public-spirited people (there must be one or two in all that crowd!) that you, I and our neighbors voted into office are not up to anything right now but trying to get through this -- and we're all in it together.
We can fight later. Let's get through this first.