President Donald Trump made clear in an all-caps stroke of midnight tweet he’s done with sacrificing the economy to save millions of lives.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump tweeted at 11:50 PM Sunday night.
Now reports from several news organizations are giving that disturbing tweet even more disturbing context.
“President Trump and some of his senior officials are losing patience with the doctors’ orders,” Axios reports. “Senior Trump officials, including the president himself, have only limited patience for keeping the economy shut down. They are watching stocks tumble and unemployment skyrocket.”
“At the end of the 15-day period, there will likely be a serious clash between the public health experts — who will almost certainly favor a longer period of nationwide social distancing and quarantining — versus the president and his economic and political aides, who are anxious to restart the economy.”
The New York Times adds that “at the White House, in recent days, there has been a growing sentiment that medical experts were allowed to set policy that has hurt the economy, and there has been a push to find ways to let people start returning to work. Some Republican lawmakers have also pleaded with the White House to find ways to restart the economy, as financial markets continue to slide and job losses for April could be in the millions.”
“President Donald Trump began talking privately late last week about reopening the nation, despite the swiftly rising number of coronavirus cases and against the advice of health professionals, because he’s worried about the economic damage from an extended shutdown,” Bloomberg News reports. “The president started talking about how to get people back to work around Thursday.”
“It’s likely the CDC guidelines would be relaxed rather than scrapped altogether, one person said.”
The Hill notes that Trump “last week brought former Council of Economic Advisers chief Kevin Hassett back on in an advisory role. Hassett has said the U.S. may have to consider sending people back to work at some point to avoid a Great Depression–like event.”
Hit by virus, Pentagon warns enemies: don’t test us
With an aircraft carrier forced into port and nuclear missile crews hit by COVID-19, the US military wants rivals to understand: don't test us, we have not been weakened.
Statement after statement from the Pentagon has sought to deliver that message amid questions this week over whether the US fighting force can maintain full readiness, with cases among service members nearing 2,000.
"We're still capable and we're still ready no matter what the threat," Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley said Thursday.
"I wouldn't want any mixed messages going out there to any adversaries that they can take advantage of an opportunity, if you will, at a time of crisis," he added.
BUSTED: Trump adviser Peter Navarro publicly contradicted his own dire coronavirus warnings to the White House
White House trade adviser circulated coronavirus warnings inside the administration, even as he assured the public that everything was under control.
Navarro circulated two memos within the White House in late January and February warning that a full-blown outbreak could devastate the U.S., but he continued going on television to present a much more rosy outlook, reported CNN's KFile.
His Jan. 29 memo warned COVID-19 could infect up to 100 million Americans and kill "as many as 1-2 million souls," but he made no mention of those dire predictions when he went on CNBC that same day to promote the USMCA trade agreement.
Coronavirus pandemic reveals GOP’s soft civil war
JB Pritzker appeared on PBS Newshour. The Democratic governor of Illinois said the White House had arranged for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be flown in from China to meet shortages in the US. On its arrival, Pritzker said, the PPE will be turned over to private firms. States like his, which are experiencing the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, are expected to bid against each other for access to it.