Some in the White House, including President Donald Trump himself, have been clamoring to get the economy reopened after the social distancing measures enacted to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. This Saturday at his daily press conference, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) — who many have looked to for competent leadership in the absence of that from the president — insisted that the president’s team’s clamoring is grossly out of bounds, because based on their own numbers, there’s the looming potential of an even more major crisis in the absence of social distancing steps.
The White House itself delivered the recent forecast of potentially over 100,000 Coronavirus deaths, as did many other sources inside and outside of government. The White House forecast has been revised downward to around 60,000 deaths overall across the U.S., but the situation continues to shift rapidly amidst a rising death count that could shoot up even more highly if virus mitigation efforts are abandoned.
‘You start to hear this dialogue on reopening and you start to hear people with political theories on whether we should reopen fast or whether we should reopen sooner, why are people against reopening, why are people in favor of reopening? That is corrosive and destructive and if we don’t stop it, it will feed on itself. There are no political conspiracies here.’
President Trump himself has engaged in some of that political conspiracy theory-mongering. He has repeatedly insisted, for instance, that ill-defined nefarious forces in the mainstream media want the economy to remain closed just to hurt his re-election chances. That’s not remotely true, and there’s no evidence suggesting otherwise — concerned observers continue to push for social distancing because of the deadly global pandemic sweeping the country.
‘The Peter Navarro White House memo was talking about loss of life, 1 million to 2 million souls, infecting as many as 100 million Americans. The CDC was talking about 160 million to 214 million people infected. the whole population is only 328 million. So the CDC was projecting that more than half the population would be infected… So there was no political conspiracy theory. There is no political conspiracy theory. It is uncharted waters for all of us, so let’s focus on the facts, let’s focus on the data, and let’s make decisions that way.’
Will Trump make his own decisions based on the science and the facts? It’s entirely unclear. At a recent press conference, he said that he’d use metrics in his mind to assess when the best time was for lifting federal social distancing guidelines, as one reporter summarized — which isn’t exactly reassuring, since Trump also recently seemed to fail to grasp that antibiotics don’t affect viruses.
President Trump says he has "absolute authority" to ease social distancing guidelines.
"I don't know that I have had a bigger decision," he said. "Hopefully it's going to be the right decision."
He points to his head & says he will be using metrics in his mind to re-open.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 10, 2020
His conspiracy theories have extended on from the above. Trump has also insisted, for instance, that medical personnel in hard-hit areas might be hoarding supplies amidst a rising demand for items like personal protective equipment and ventilators — but there’s no evidence of hoarding. Local health authorities simply need assistance amidst the mounting Coronavirus tolls.