Speaking to MSNBC on Sunday evening, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan said that President Donald Trump's team thinks that Americans can't sustain their fear of the coronavirus all the way until election day. So, while Trump's challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, is still social distancing, Trump plans to gallivant maskless throughout the United States.
"They're trying to position Donald Trump as the candidate of reopening the economy," said Swan. "So, expect to see much more film of him and television appearances where he's out in public, mixing with people, no mask. And Joe Biden, obviously in Delaware abiding by the stay-at-home order at home, doing his media hits from the house."
He said that the campaign is also making it a talking point, and intends to make it a contrast at the two conventions with Republicans having "a really boisterous, live, in-person, national Republican convention." It's unknown if older Republican voters will be willing to crowd together in a convention center for a GOP shindig, however. Currently, states can't even recruit retired people willing to be poll workers for elections.
"They're obviously looking at how they can do that with social distancing, et cetera, but the reality is when, as you know, a whole bunch of people pile into an area, it's very difficult to maintain that," he said.
Host Kasie Hunt asked how Republicans can possibly have thousands of people coming together while also being safe.
Swan cited a Wall Street Journal report saying that the Trump team is making a "risky bet" that public opinion can't hold all the way until November.
"Right now, if you look at polling, the majority of people are concerned and cautious about reopening too quickly," Swan continued. "They're making a bet, the Trump campaign is, that by late summer/fall, that is going to turn and that there will be a huge pent-up energy and momentum towards the idea of getting open, and that they're going to try and position Trump as the person who is going to bring the economy roaring back. Now, of course, if there is a very severe second wave and if this experiment of reopening fails, I mean, there you go. You're not going to have your nice economy, and you're going to have a terrible death count. It is not a strategy without risk, but it is a strategy."
The fear, according to epidemiologists, is that once the reopening takes off, there will be an increase in the COVID-19 cases. They also predict a resurgence in the fall and winter because it's what previous pandemics have done.
Watch Swan's comments below: