President Donald Trump has been trying to pivot away from talking about the coronavirus pandemic and is instead hyping up a grand "reopening" of America's economy.
Leaked audio obtained by Politico, however, shows officials from multiple government agencies are privately warning that the virus is about to take a horrific toll on the United States.
The audio obtained by Politico is a recording of a conference call that took place on May 1st, and it shows that federal officials have grave concerns about state governments lifting restrictions even as COVID-19 burns through their populations.
"The numbers of deaths definitely will be high,” Daniel Jernigan, director of the Center for Disease Control’s influenza division, said at the start of the call.
Another unidentified official chimed in to warn that lifting all restrictions would lead to a surge in cases that would overwhelm hospitals.
“If, at the end of stay-at-home orders, you were to lift everything and go back to normal business, and not have any community mitigation, you would expect to see in the second week in May we begin to increase again in ventilator uses,” the official said. “Which means cases increase, and by early June, we surpass the number of ventilators we currently have.”