This week, the Associated Press reported that the Trump administration had “shelved” a 17-page report outlining steps to ensure public health and safety when reopening establishments like restaurants and childcare facilities. In alerting the journalists behind the AP report to the ignored guidelines, anonymous interests seem to have been working to ensure that the safety-ensuring guidelines got out to the public no matter what silencing efforts that the president and his allies may have launched.
As the Associated Press explains:
‘The Trump administration has shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak. The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen.’
You can read the document in question in full at this link, via the Daily Beast.
Although there is additional guidance for a safe reopening that is available from the government through other channels, some of the recommendations in the ignored report are not found elsewhere. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists behind the report admonish restaurants to keep tables six feet apart and use tech like a phone app to let patrons know when their orders are ready and thereby limit interpersonal contact. Although that’s a very specific example, these kinds of precautions across the board are crucial towards the end of keeping economic reopening efforts from devolving into yet another round of spiking Coronavirus cases and deaths.
The original AP report notes that, according to someone close to the White House Coronavirus task force, the president’s team has shied away from endorsing specific recommendations in light of the wide variability in the course of local outbreaks around the country. So — the president’s team has decided that the best solution to the problem of overly specific recommendation is no recommendations?
Trump has faced renewed criticism after the news emerged of his administration’s dismissal of the CDC report. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) commented on Twitter:
‘CDC was ready to issue a guide on how communities could re-open safely. The Trump admin stopped it. Pres. Trump’s pressuring for re-opening—but refuses take responsibility for ensuring it happens safely He needs an adequate national testing strategy NOW’
CDC was ready to issue a guide on how communities could re-open safely. The Trump admin stopped it.
Pres. Trump's pressuring for re-opening—but refuses take responsibility for ensuring it happens safely
He needs an adequate national testing strategy NOWhttps://t.co/PqDTWaCIFa
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 7, 2020
Trump, for his part, has insisted that calls to ramp up Coronavirus testing capacity in the United States are a “false talking point” as if he’s trying to wish that basic public health need out of existence, but that’s not going to cut it.
Throughout the most recent weeks of the Coronavirus crisis, Trump has attempted to prioritize economic concerns. He has insisted, for example, that the U.S. must reopen fast, promising some kind of grand economic bounceback, but nothing along those lines will happen while thousands of Americans keep dying each and every day due to the Coronavirus.