President Donald Trump desperately wants to turn the page on the coronavirus pandemic that’s killed more than 138,000 in the U.S. and threatens to sink his re-election — but even his staunchest allies won’t let him move on.
A growing number of Trump’s reliable allies are undermining White House talking points on the deadly pandemic that’s rapidly spreading across the South and West, and Republicans are joining the calls for more testing and other measures the president opposes, reported Politico.
“What he can do, what the president can do, and what his administration can do is make sure [tests] aren’t an issue,” said “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade. “I mean, it’s been four or five months. It should not be an issue.”
Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney complained Monday in an op-ed that delays for testing results encountered by his family were “simply inexcusable,” and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has changed his tone as the virus overruns his state’s hospitals.
“I know many Floridians are filled with apprehension as they wonder, you know, what does this mean,” DeSantis said Monday, one day after the state recorded 15,000 new cases. “What do these trends mean for our health, for our families, and for our jobs? How long is this going to go on for? What’s going to happen with things like kids being in school?”
“I hear you,” he added, “and I along with our federal partners, our local leaders, and our great medical community, we’re working nonstop to be able to respond to this crisis.”
Many prominent Republicans have expressed skepticism about attending the GOP convention next month in Jacksonville, Florida, and conservative elected officials and activists are concerned about the White House push to reopen schools on time.
“We don’t want a reemergence,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). “We don’t want young people getting sick or bringing it home to their parents, or the teachers, some of whom are upwards in their age risk who could also be at further risk of contracting the disease.”
“Yes, I want kids to go back to school,” Smith added, “but if, and only if, and I say that with capital letters, it is safe.”