Trump aides hatching plans to use coronavirus crisis to push through more extremist policies: report
US President Donald Trump signed an order imposing sanctions on Iran's supreme leader and a string of military chiefs AFP / MANDEL NGAN

According to a report from Politico, officials in Donald Trump's White House are working overtime to try and quickly push through some of the president's more extreme policies by using the panic over the coronavirus pandemic as a cover.

As the report notes, Trump officials are heeding former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's 2008 suggestion, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

"President Donald Trump and his team are talking up the opportunity to finally achieve stricter border security, wider tax cuts and reduced reliance on Chinese manufacturing amid the spread of the coronavirus throughout the U.S." Politico reports. "Some officials see it as a narrow opening to offset the political damage from the coronavirus outbreak and deliver — or at least, talk about — some of the president’s longstanding promises."

The report notes that shutting down the border would do nothing to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, but that apparently won't stop officials in the White House from pushing the changes.

"Shutting down borders or cutting taxes would not halt the spread of the virus, which is now being spread person-to-person within the U.S. and which scientists are still struggling to understand. The ideas, however, are central to Trump’s popularity with his base heading his 2020 re-election race, and the outbreak gives both the president and his top aides a new space to re-introduce their favorite approaches amid the uncertainty," wrote Politico's Nancy Cook.

According to Princeton's Julian Zelizer who studies political history, "It only works to take a lot of action in crisis if you are first dealing with basic needs. Otherwise, you look like President George W. Bush did following Hurricane Katrina, when he looked distracted and not dealing with basic problems.”

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