Where Things Stand: Trump’s Having Second Thoughts

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 22: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. During the briefing Presi... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 22: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. During the briefing President Trump announced that the National Guard will be deployed to New York, Washington State and California. Congress continues to work on legislation this weekend for a trillion dollar aid package to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 23, 2020 12:04 p.m.
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President Trump appears to be growing tired of his own plan to combat the coronavirus.

We’re seven days into Trump’s 15-day social distancing plan and the President is reportedly not only having second thoughts about efforts to tamp down the spread of the virus, but also appears to be more concerned about the impact his initial plan will have on the economy. Trump announced his 15-day isolation proposal last Monday. Just three days later, he was reportedly already considering ways to phase out his plan, Bloomberg News reported.

That report, coupled with Trump’s late-night, all-caps tweet about not letting the “CURE BE WORSE THAT THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” point to a weariness over the hits his task force’s approach is taking on the economy.

And that paranoia is already manifesting itself in the White House’s handling of the crisis. Instead of holding it’s daily press briefing on the outbreak in the morning, the White House is holding it at 5:30 p.m. ET Monday, notably after the markets close for the day.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert gave an interview to Science Magazine on Sunday in which he lamented the difficulties of communicating the most basic health information to the public under the Trump presidency. Matt Shuham is digging into that interview this morning.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Trump tweeted last night that media outlets are “destroying themselves” by covering him in a negative light, a potentially alarming comment given his previous threat to “destroy” NBC owner Comcast’s “image.” Trump’s attacks on the media have significantly increased in recent days, culminating when he lashed out at an MSNBC reporter on Friday for asking a question about scared Americans. We’ll keep an eye on this.

On Monday morning, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned that the coronavirus outbreak is “going to get bad” as early as this week. His grim warning came after Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) became the first member of Congress to get hospitalized for COVID-19.

Today’s Rundown

12:30 p.m. ET: Trump and the vice president will have lunch

5:30 p.m. ET: The White House Coronavirus task force will hold a briefing — notably after the markets close for the day.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

An Unexpected COVID-19 Hotspot Emerges In The Colorado Rockies — Matt Shuham

What We Are Reading

The Struggle Of Sobriety In Isolation — A.J. Daulerio

At New York Prison, Harvey Weinstein Put In Isolation After Contracting Virus — Joe Mahoney

The Places A COVID-19 Recession Will Likely Hit Hardest — Mark Muro, Robert Maxim and Jacob Whiton

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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