At his daily coronavirus task force briefing Wednesday night, President Donald Trump doubled-down on his timeline for reopening the country.
Trump said his vision is to return life to normal by Easter, April 12.
“I think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly,” Trump said. “I think there are certain people that would like [the economy] to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls.”
Trump tweeted on March 25: “The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!”
On March 24, the president tweeted: “Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!”
While Trump remains optimistic, his predecessor took a more bleak stance.
Former President Barack Obama on March 25 called on Americans to stay home for the foreseeable future and maintain social distancing.
Responding to an article on New York City’s “overburdened” medical facilities, Obama tweeted: “These are the burdens our medical heroes already face in NYC. It’s only going to get harder across the country. Another reason to maintain social distancing policies at least until we have comprehensive testing in place. Not just for our sake — for theirs.”
WorldTribune earlier reported that, in 2009, “over 60 million Americans got swine flu (h1n1) and over 12,000 Americans died yet there was no media hysteria.”
“Remember those daily press briefings Barack Obama gave in 2009 warning Americans to stay home during the swine flu pandemic? Neither do we,” the Gateway Pundit said.
Many Democrats have been critical of the idea of a quick return to business as usual. Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York, who said he is self-quarantining, told CNN on Wednesday that the lockdown should be nationwide.
“I think the country should be on a lockdown,” Espaillat said. “Rather than abiding by this Easter Sunday scenario that the President is talking about, we should be in total lockdown.”
Trump said that his symbolically ideal Easter reopening might only work in less-impacted regions, but added, “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily — I don’t do that. But the country wants to get back to work.”