On Wednesday, CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins walked through the feedback President Donald Trump is getting from business leaders — and how it poses a challenge to his narrative about the effort to fight COVID-19.
"Kaitlan, this is a phone meeting, I guess, of the president's new business council," said anchor Jake Tapper. "Are there any indications that the business leaders were able to convince the president?"
"The first message from these executives on this first call, which was banking executives, financial executives, those from retail, hospitality, restaurants, of that nature, was that you're going to have to ramp up testing if we're going to open up our businesses and people are going to feel safe coming in," said Collins. "They made sure to the president that was a priority for them, essentially saying that they do not feel that they're at the level of that right now because a lot of these companies are basically telling the president, if these consumers don't feel comfortable coming in, then we're not going to be opening up until this testing has ramped up further."
"We're told there was a lot of praise for the president on this call and what his administration has done so far," added Collins. "But Jake, this could be kind of a reality check for the president, because for the last two weeks we've seen him insisting that testing in the U.S. is fine. He said he has not heard a lot of concerns about the testing so far anymore from state officials. But we know state officials have been talking about this as well. And it comes, of course, as the president and his economic advisers are pushing to have at least some kind of opening on May 1 when those deadlines expire."