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Without Consulting His Own Task Force, Trump Plans County-By-County Relaxation Of Social Distancing Guidelines For Coronavirus

President Donald Trump, who has for several days now stated his strong desire to re-open up the economy following stringent social distancing measures meant to curtail the spread of coronavirus, sent a letter to governors on Thursday regarding a new ranking system for counties across the nation.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The rankings would describe how susceptible a person might be within a given county, with each jurisdiction being listed as being “high risk,” “medium risk,” or “low risk,” according to reporting from CNN.

The rankings are meant to provide governors with guidance on “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures they have put in place,” the president wrote in his letter.

In other words, the president is hopeful that governors will relax rules in counties with low risk, while keeping in place social distancing standards in high-risk counties. It’s a move that health experts have warned won’t do much good to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but which Trump is hoping will help stave off a recession.

As the Trump administration made public the letter it wrote to the nation’s governors, it was reported by CNN’s Jim Acosta that members of his own coronavirus task force weren’t even made aware of the new plan.

“Not all Coronavirus task force members had seen Trump’s letter to the nation’s governors detailing plans for possibly relaxing social distancing guidelines before the letter was released,” Acosta wrote in a tweet.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted out his desire to reignite the economy, in spite of dire warnings against doing so. “Our people want to return to work,” he wrote on Tuesday.

The president has also stated on several occasions that the “cure” for preventing the spread of COVID-19 cannot “be worse than the problem itself.” It’s hard, however, given what experts and statisticians have said, to see how Trump’s predictions could become reality.

Over 75,000 cases of coronavirus have been identified so far as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. However, according to a survey of academics, that number may actually be just one-fifth of the actual amount of individuals currently afflicted with the disease, and as many as 360,000 may already have it, most without having been properly diagnosed.

Those same biostatisticians believe that there’s a high likelihood that hundreds of thousands of Americans could die from coronavirus by the end of the year, if protective measures aren’t taken and adhered to.



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