President Donald Trump seeks to have the U.S. be back in business as early as May 1, according to the Washington Post, despite public health officials’ warnings that having Americans go back to work at this point in time will accelerate the spread of COVID-19.
Trump is reportedly pursuing the means to do so once the White House’s 30-day social distancing guidelines end, and possibly even before then.
An unnamed source told the Post that Marc Short, one of Trump’s top advisers and Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, has been telling the President that states’ shelter-in orders are an overreaction and that health officials’ projected COVID-19 death toll is an overinflation of what Short claims will be the real death rate.
Trump reportedly complains on the regular about how the economic damage of the coronavirus outbreak is jeopardizing his chances of reelection, and frequently asks “When can we reopen?”
The Post’s report came as Trump administration officials float the President’s desired timeline during TV appearances.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a CNBC interview on Thursday that he believes Americans will resume working in May.
“I think as soon as the President feels comfortable with the medical issues, we are making everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business, and that they have the liquidity they need to operate their business in the interim,” Mnuchin said.
And on the same day, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Fox Business Network that over the next month or two, the economy ought to restart “at least on a rolling basis.”
However, White House coronavirus task force official Dr. Anthony Fauci pointed out on Friday that while “right now are some favorable signs” of mitigating the outbreak, there needs to be a “clear indication that you are very very clearly and strongly going in the right direction” before businesses reopen.
“As I’ve said so many times, the virus kind of decides whether or not it’s going to be appropriate to open or not,” he told CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota