After two months of rampant reaction to the coronavirus, the White House plans to shift the focus from US President Donald Trump to nascent efforts to alleviate the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
A few days after publicly thinking that scientists should explore injecting toxic disinfectants as a potential cure for viruses, Mr. Trump has now dismissed the usefulness of his daily task force briefings, where he has repeatedly encountered occasions with scientific experts. Trump’s assistants aim to move the president to more familiar – and safer, they hope – ground: talking about the economy, in tighter, controlled settings.
This is a political imperative because the allies have seen an erosion of their support for the president. What had been his greatest asset in the re-election campaign, his ability to cover news headlines with freewheeling performances, became a daily responsibility. At the same time, a new Republican Party poll shows that Trump’s path to a second term depends on public perception of how quickly the economic rebounds from state-to-state closures are expected to slow the spread of the economy. virus.
Some states have started to ease closure orders, and Trump should start to highlight his administration’s work in helping businesses and employees. Aides said the president would hold more frequent roundtables with CEOs, business owners and recipients of the trillions of federal aid dollars already approved by Congress, and would begin to describe what he hoped to see in a future recovery plan.
Trump left the White House for the last time a month ago, and plans are underway for a limited travel schedule in the coming weeks, said an assistant. It would be a symbolic spectacle that the country begins to reopen.
This change comes hand in hand with what the White House sees as encouraging signs across the country, with the rate of new infections stabilizing and deaths falling.
However, medical experts warn that the virus will remain until at least one vaccine is developed and that the risk of a second severe wave is high if social distance is released too quickly or if tests and programs Contact tracing is not developed until normal behavior returns.
The White House is considering whether to continue holding briefings in a modified form without Mr. Trump, potentially in a different location. Before Trump said in a tweet on Saturday that they were “not worth the time and effort,” the assistants were anxious to use the briefings to highlight positive trends and overwhelm Americans with statistics. It was an effort to restore confidence in the response so that the public would be comfortable resuming more normal activities.
“We know this is important,” Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told Fox News Channel. Sunday Morning Futures. “We understand that these messages of science and policy must be conveyed to the American people in an apolitical way.”
Few Americans regularly turn to or trust Mr. Trump as a source of information on the pandemic, according to a survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research published last week.
On Monday, the White House is expected to release a summary of what the federal government has done so far to improve the availability of COVID-19 tests, personal protective equipment and ventilators.
However, the governors of the two parties say that much more is needed, especially for testing, in the coming months, as they deliberate on how and when to reopen their states.
“I want our economy to be reopened as soon as possible, but I want to do it in a safe way so that we don’t get a rush, we don’t cause more deaths or overload our health care. “Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican from Mayland, told ABC. This week.
Dr. Birx expressed frustration that comments on Mr. Trump’s injection are still in the headlines, illustrating the tensions that have arisen between the President and his medical advisers.
“As a scientist, public health official and researcher, I sometimes fear that we will not be providing the American people with the information they need, as we continue to talk about something that dates back to Thursday evening,” he said. she declared on CNN. State of the Union.
As the White House aims to take a turn, it is also beginning to assess the responsibility for critical missteps. Two senior administration officials said that Trump had started talks on replacing the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, who chaired the Coronavirus task force in his first weeks and was blamed for a culture of bureaucratic struggles during this period. Azar has been sidelined since Vice President Mike Pence took over the task force in late February.
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