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As Coronavirus Deaths Grow Trump Makes Clear He Wants Americans to Go Back to Work: Reports

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President Donald Trump made clear in an all-caps stroke of midnight tweet he’s done with sacrificing the economy to save millions of lives.

“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump tweeted at 11:50 PM Sunday night.

Now reports from several news organizations are giving that disturbing tweet even more disturbing context.

“President Trump and some of his senior officials are losing patience with the doctors’ orders,” Axios reports. “Senior Trump officials, including the president himself, have only limited patience for keeping the economy shut down. They are watching stocks tumble and unemployment skyrocket.”

“At the end of the 15-day period, there will likely be a serious clash between the public health experts — who will almost certainly favor a longer period of nationwide social distancing and quarantining — versus the president and his economic and political aides, who are anxious to restart the economy.”

The New York Times adds that “at the White House, in recent days, there has been a growing sentiment that medical experts were allowed to set policy that has hurt the economy, and there has been a push to find ways to let people start returning to work. Some Republican lawmakers have also pleaded with the White House to find ways to restart the economy, as financial markets continue to slide and job losses for April could be in the millions.”

“President Donald Trump began talking privately late last week about reopening the nation, despite the swiftly rising number of coronavirus cases and against the advice of health professionals, because he’s worried about the economic damage from an extended shutdown,” Bloomberg News reports. “The president started talking about how to get people back to work around Thursday.”

“It’s likely the CDC guidelines would be relaxed rather than scrapped altogether, one person said.”

The Hill notes that Trump “last week brought former Council of Economic Advisers chief Kevin Hassett back on in an advisory role. Hassett has said the U.S. may have to consider sending people back to work at some point to avoid a Great Depression–like event.”
 

 

 

 

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Confirmed US Coronavirus-Related Deaths Surge – Double in Just Two Days

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The number of confirmed coronavirus-related deaths in the United States has doubled in just two days, The Washington Post reported Saturday evening. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 now stands at 2000.

It was just over one month ago when President Donald Trump told the American people there were just 15 cases and “within days” the number would drop to “close to zero.”

Trump on that day said: “that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

“It took about a month from the first confirmed death for the United States to record 1,000,” the Post adds. “That toll has risen rapidly as officials have been warning the worst is yet to come.”

EARLIER: Trump’s Chilling Re-Election Calculus Is to Focus on Economy Instead of Lives Says Former Administration Official: Report

 

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The National Security Council Gave Trump a 69-Page Pandemic Plan Three Years Ago — He Ignored It

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On Wednesday, Politico reported the details of a 69-page pandemic response playbook given to President Donald Trump’s team by the National Security Council, outlining key steps the federal government should take to coordinate a response and contain the crisis — and revealed how the White House was catastrophically late to implement the plan’s major suggestions at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump administration, state officials and even individual hospital workers are now racing against each other to get the necessary masks, gloves and other safety equipment to fight coronavirus — a scramble that hospitals and doctors say has come too late and left them at risk,” wrote Dan Diamond and Nahal Toolsi. “But according to a previously unrevealed White House playbook, the government should’ve begun a federal-wide effort to procure that personal protective equipment at least two months ago.”

The report continued: “‘Is there sufficient personal protective equipment for healthcare workers who are providing medical care?’ the playbook instructs its readers, as one early decision that officials should address when facing a potential pandemic. ‘If YES: What are the triggers to signal exhaustion of supplies? Are additional supplies available? If NO: Should the Strategic National Stockpile release PPE to states?’”

This playbook, which was devised in 2016 in the wake of the government’s attempts to contain Ebola just years before, reportedly “also stresses the significant responsibility facing the White House to contain risks of potential pandemics, a stark contrast with the Trump administration’s delays in deploying an all-of-government response and President Donald Trump’s recent signals that he might roll back public health recommendations.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services maintained this plan was never formally adopted and said, “The HHS COVID-19 response was informed by more recent plans such as the foundation of the National Biodefense Strategy (2018), Biological Incident Annex (2017), and panCAP (2018) among other key plans provided by the CDC, White House Task Force, FEMA, and other key federal departments and agencies.”

Nonetheless, according to Politico, the existence of the plan undercuts Trump’s narrative that the coronavirus disaster was unforeseeable: “Trump’s aides were told to expect a potential pandemic, ranging from a tabletop exercise that the outgoing Obama administration prepared for the president’s incoming aides to a ‘Crimson Contagion’ scenario that health officials undertook just last year and modeled out potential risks of a global infectious disease threat. Trump’s deputies also have said that their coronavirus response relies on a federal playbook, specifically referring to a strategy laid out by the Centers for Disease Control.”

“It is not clear if the administration’s failure to follow the NSC playbook was the result of an oversight or a deliberate decision to follow a different course,” continued the report.

You can read more here.

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Trump Will Be a ‘One-Man Death Panel’ if He Sends People Back to Work Amid Pandemic: Medical Experts

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President Donald Trump’s stated desire to get America back up and running by Easter despite the continued threat from the coronavirus pandemic is running into a wall of criticism from medical experts.

In interviews with the New York Times, several medical experts said that pushing Americans to return to work in the middle of a pandemic would make the spread of the disease vastly worse than it is right now.

“The virus will surge, many will fall ill and there will be more deaths,” Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells the Times of Trump’s push to ease social distancing restrictions.

“Nobody voted in Donald Trump thinking he would become a ‘one-man death panel’ empowered to dispense with American lives like cannon fodder,” Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, tells the paper. “It would be political suicide for him and murder for many others.”

Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, the acting director of the University of Washington MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness, similarly tells the Times that there are no shortcuts in dealing with the virus.

“The lesson from China is that aggressive measures to reduce the spread of the virus, continued for two months, have led to a reduction in new cases,” he says.

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