Trump wants to move on. No matter that coronavirus cases are rising in many states and that governors are ignoring his guidelines about when it’s safe to open.
Trump ignores warnings hat the easing restrictions taking place across the country could cause tens of thousands of deaths and The White House gave a signal Tuesday, just less than six months from the election and as the US death toll topped 70,000, that it is moving from pandemic management to a message of revival and an aggressive pitch for a second term.
Trump conceded that as the country opens,
“There’ll be more death… the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we’re doing very well on vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal.”
Pence revealed conversations about scaling back the administration’s coronavirus task force perhaps around Memorial Day. Officials said that advisers like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx would remain on board but closing the task force would make experts whose science-based arguments have sometimes contradicted Trump’s overly optimistic projections much less visible.
Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“We’re now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening, and we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.”
Trump all but admitted that he was reconciled to the deaths that epidemiologists say would result from a premature effort to open the economy. Asked in an ABC News interview if the price of opening will be more deaths, Trump replied:
“It’s possible there will be some, because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is.”
We have to get our country back. You know, people are dying the other way too. When you look at what’s happened with drugs, it goes up. When you look at suicides, I mean, take a look at what’s going on. People are losing their jobs — we have to bring it back, and that’s what we’re doing.”
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett predicted Tuesday on CNN that unemployment figures due on Friday could come at 19% to 20%.
“So we are looking at probably the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.”
According to CNN,
A botched opening could plunge the country into even deeper economic turmoil and offer the virus a new foothold for deadlier waves of infection later in the year in the absence of a vaccine and so far proven therapies.
The administration effort has been massively criticized. That is despite Trump’s claim that the response has been hugely successful and his victory laps over an entry ban on foreign nationals who had recently been in China and his claim to have averted a feared ventilator shortage.
Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer,
“It seems a little weird that just a couple of days ago the President was at the Lincoln Memorial, doubling the estimates for the number of people who were going to die, given the Covid crisis, then a day later says we may wind down the Pence task force. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I think we need more federal direction.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused the White House of wanting the crisis to be over because it was an “inconvenience.”
“They went to great lengths, initially to minimize it. It then became undeniable. They dealt with it and then left it to the states.
But they want it over. That is clear. But the virus doesn’t care. The virus doesn’t listen. This is not a marketing situation. You can’t talk your way around this. That virus is there.”
Echoing his stand during the impeachment saga, the President on Tuesday effectively made a new power grab, making clear he will accept only oversight run by friendly Senate Republicans, flouting Congress’s traditional role.
“The House is a bunch of Trump-haters.”
Oh, it’s not just the House.