Acknowledging Deaths Are Coming, Trump Still Insists We Need To ‘Open Our Country Again’
President Donald Trump appears to be waffling back and forth between understanding the need for Americans to stay at home in order to slow the spread of coronavirus and his strong desire to re-open the economy and end social distancing measures.
Speaking at the White House on Saturday, Trump again said that he wanted to open the country back up sooner rather than later.
“We have to open our country again,” Trump said. “We don’t want to be doing this for months, and months and months.”
Trump also repeated a line he said several times in March, when he also expressed a strong want for social distancing to end. “The cure can’t be worse than the problem itself,” Trump said during the press briefing.
However, one of the best ways to ensure social distancing measures don’t last as long as they might have to is to enforce them across the board, according to one infectious-disease physician, requiring every state in the nation to have strict stay-at-home standards.
“We would see a drop-off in cases within two weeks,” Dr. Rishi Desai said, speaking to Fox News about the matter. “Within two weeks, the number of cases would start to fall, and the entire country would breathe a sigh of relief.”
President Trump said the notion of creating a second White House coronavirus task force to examine how best to reopen the country’s economy was a “good idea” https://t.co/9eKNjvdpl4
— Bloomberg (@business) April 4, 2020
A national stay-at-home order may not be constitutional, but the president could definitely encourage governors of the remaining eight states without such an order to do so using his bully pulpit. Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed a desire for such an order to be given, he said during a CNN town hall last week:
“I don’t understand why that’s not happening. The tension between federally-mandated versus states rights to do what they want is something I don’t want to get into, but if you look at what’s going on in this country I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that — we really should be.”
Trump has refused to give such an order, and has defended governors’ rights to keep their states open as they see fit. Indeed, the president also tweeted out his endorsement of an idea to create a second coronavirus task force — one whose primary focus would be on re-opening the country, in spite of health experts saying such a move could wreak more havoc.
Even though the economy, in his mind, should re-open, Trump acknowledged within the same press conference on Saturday that the U.S. death toll would be increasing in a big way within a matter of days.
“This will be the toughest…between this week and next week. There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” Trump said.