Today’s Presser

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If you didn’t watch this afternoon’s Trump press conference, the one significant piece of news is that the President is extending his “15 Days to Slow the Spread” guidelines until the end of April. This essentially means he’s dropping the idea of ‘reopening the country’ any time soon. That this was even a question is appalling. And the President doesn’t even have this power. But it’s good that he’s dropped the idea, at least for now because at a minimum these fantasies confuse people about the reality of the danger. It appears that his public health advisors shared with him modeling which suggests that a final death toll in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 is now the optimistic scenario with a death toll ranging to one or two million is possible without aggressive social distancing and lockdown strategies.

Most of the rest of the press conference was taken up with brief CEO cameos and jousting with reporters over whether he actually said things he said over the previous week. One uniquely appalling new development was the President floating the idea that the intense demand for protective gear like masks might be driven by health care workers demanding excessive supplies and then fencing the surplus on the black market. He asked journalists to investigate.

Here are two clips where he pressed this point.

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