Trump ignores lessons from pandemic failures as election looms

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And now he might be making the same mistake again.

When he does not distract from the health crisis by stoking controversy over racial injustice and unrest in American cities, Trump has returned to his aggressive will to keep the economy running at all levels. A new demand for a full range of college football games follows its earlier demands for all children and students to return to class.

But while the president surely channels the fatigue of millions of Americans in the face of the pandemic, his demand to reopen without offering solutions that could safely restore a semblance of regular life is another apparent sign that he is prioritizing its political perspectives to science.

With 184,000 Americans already dead, White House officials are hopeful that Trump’s plunge into cultural warfare following protests and unrest over police brutality will to some extent cover his responsibilities in the pandemic, sources said. to CNN reporters. In the wake of last week’s Republican National Convention that largely ignored the virus, Trump is making yet another premature declaration of victory over the worst public health disaster in 100 years.

“We did a great job at Covid but we don’t have the credit for it,” Trump said on Fox News Monday.But the tacit reality of this approach is that many more Americans will contract Covid-19 before the election, and thousands more will die. This will likely contribute to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s efforts to crush Trump’s hopes of a second term by lambasting his failures during the pandemic.

“Mr. Trump, do you mean fear? Biden asked on Monday.

“Do you know what people are afraid of in America? They are afraid of catching Covid. They are afraid of getting sick and dying, and it’s not nothing, it’s because of you. ”

A new CNN report reveals that White House officials have all but given up hope of stopping the pathogen and are now reverting to a forceful open-state strategy. The change comes amid fierce political pressure from the White House on government agencies to approve new treatments and even a vaccine before Phase 3 trials end – in a move that could provide short-term political gain for the president while locked up. a difficult reelection fight but could have disastrous scientific consequences.

“We risk turning back the clock. We risk one step forward, three steps back, ”Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday night.

“This is what happened with this administration which opened too soon in the southern states. This is what is happening in open schools where there is a lot of COVID and which must close, ”he added. “We don’t want that to happen with a vaccine because vaccines are precious. These are our most powerful tools for controlling a pandemic.

Discord within the coronavirus task force

Trump’s growing impatience coincides with multiple reports that the White House is increasingly receptive to collective immunity, a theory said to have been put forward by the president’s new favorite adviser, Dr Scott Atlas.

The concept is based on allowing the virus to spread to build community resistance. Independent medical experts warn that such an approach could result in several million deaths in the United States in the long term. Atlas forcibly denied that he supported such a strategy. Still, an administration official told CNN that many of its policies seemed to indicate such an approach. And even though the administration has not formally approved collective immunity, its inability to correlate the pandemic and its resistance to the outright promotion of social distancing and masks – blatantly demonstrated by the speech of the Republican convention from Trump to the White House last week – means he almost falls into such a default counter-virus plan.

“That the number is 2 million, 1 million Americans dead is unacceptable,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the faculty of tropical medicine at Baylor University, told “New Day” on Tuesday. CNN.

Sources told CNN that key players around Trump in the administration have all but given up hope of quelling the virus with the aggressive suppression and mitigation efforts advocated by trusted medical experts like Dr Anthony Fauci.

While infections and deaths in the United States are on the decline, they remain at unprecedented levels in most developed countries. There are flashing warning signs in the Midwest. The surge in cases in colleges that have hosted students back shows the inexorable threat of the disease. And there are already fears the Labor Day holiday may produce a spike in infections like Memorial Day did, before a dreaded fall recovery.

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Some colleges and small schools have passed with rigorous testing and quarantine programs with safe openings. But each day brings more stories of the wider reopening going off the rails. At least 37 states are reporting a total of 25,000 positive cases of Covid-19 in colleges and universities.

Time is running out before the elections

Trump’s demands for a rapid opening of state economies earlier this year helped spark a wave of illness and death in solar-belt states that had escaped the first spikes in infection to hit New York and the California.

But two months before election day, and with time running out for the soaring economic rebound he has promised, Trump is once again ignoring the potential consequences of a quick return to normalcy.

“We’re opening it up and we’re opening it up to record numbers,” he said Friday night in New Hampshire. “Democrats keep their states closed and hurt the people who live in those states. “

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After months of closures and stay-at-home orders, Americans are eager to get their lives back. And maybe it’s time to rebalance the risk between getting infected and living with some semblance of normalcy. But in a dereliction of duty, the Trump administration has failed to put in place measures such as a massive testing and tracing program that could make such a goal possible and limit its potential danger.

Trump, on the contrary, is focusing on other things.

On Tuesday, the president revealed he had spoken to the Big Ten commissioner to try to resume his games, after the university central conference postponed his season due to coronavirus concerns, including shortages of testing capacity and long-term concerns. impact of the disease on the health of athletes. Several other conferences plan to move forward with games, and Trump has pressured the Big Ten to follow suit.

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“We are pushing very hard. … I think they want to play, and the fans want to see it, and the players have a lot at stake, including maybe playing in the NFL, ”he told reporters.

The president’s initiative – which doesn’t appear to include new measures to address the issues that have caused the season’s hiatus – looks like yet another attempt to downplay science in an effort to recreate normalcy. While the prospect of drop-free football is unthinkable, the Big Ten simply includes several schools in crucial Midwestern swing states like Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio, this which can explain the concern of the sports fan.

The surge in college football is the latest sign of the deficit in Trump’s approach to the virus. Time and time again, the American experience – the one we learn in the rest of the world – is that the virus just doesn’t go away. The only way to reopen colleges, businesses, restaurants, and travel is to conquer it.

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