President Donald Trump’s advisers are reportedly gearing up to spread the blame if the President’s plan to jumpstart the economy by May 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic crashes and burns and results in the loss of additional American lives.
The Washington Post reported that while the White House is frantically piecing together a strategy to reopen businesses at the end of the month, it also hopes to shield Trump from the political consequences of the outbreak and his sluggish response to it. Staffers are reportedly aware of the risks of lifting social distancing guidelines so soon, and Trump himself knows that suddenly forcing the economy to open up again spells danger.
“Even he realizes that’s a bad idea,” an unnamed former official told the Post.
Therefore, Trump’s advisers have been reportedly attempting to sell the plan, which has not been fully formed, to business leaders, economists and other high profile figures, with the hope that Trump won’t be held solely responsible if the reopening backfires.
Despite health officials’ warnings against encouraging people to go back to work at this stage of the outbreak, Trump has been desperate to restore the economy to its pre-outbreak state as soon as possible. He’s even gone as far as to falsely claim he has the “total authority” to force governors to allow businesses to reopen.
Trump backed away from that claim on Tuesday night, but still insisted that some states can reopen “almost immediately.”