Trump Claims COVID-19 Cases Have Peaked, Economy Ready To Reopen — But That’s Not How Things Work
President Donald Trump is eager to reopen the economy by urging states to end their stay-at-home orders that were put into place to combat coronavirus.
He’s wrongly assumed he has the power to end states’ orders, and continues to believe so, even as a slew of articles and constitutional experts have explained that, the way our federalist democracy is set up, Trump cannot actually force governors to end their stay-in-place directives.
Still, Trump is planning on Thursday to announce the steps that will be taken in the coming weeks, and possibly days, to reopen things up, doing so perhaps to further his own electoral chances more than anything else.
The president on Wednesday, during a press briefing at the White House, tried to assure the public that things were getting better.
“The data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases,” Trump said. He added:
“These developments have put us in a strong position to finalize guidelines for states opening the country.”
Trump plans to announce those guidelines on Thursday evening.
Reaching the peak of the curve, however, doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods quiet yet. Any statistician will tell you, on a graph when you reach the top of a curve, you still have to go down from there — a process that means what you’ve already been through, you’ll have to double its impact before things get back to the zero-line.
That means we can probably expect a possible doubling of the number of people who get infected with coronavirus in order to reach the “bottom” of the curve.
But that assumes everything goes according to plan. The curve only “flattened” at this point because of stay-at-home orders. Instantly putting people back to work could risk the possibility of a resurgence of cases, a “second wave” that many countries that have already reached their “peak” are also wary of facing.
Indeed, even Trump’s own health experts don’t think reopening things up by May 1 is necessarily a good idea. “We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said, regarding Trump’s rosy outlook on things.