And now he may be making the same mistake again.
When he is not diverting attention from the health crisis by stoking controversy over racial injustice and unrest in US cities, Trump has returned to his aggressive push to get the economy firing on all cylinders. A new demand for a full slate of college football games
follows his earlier demands for all kids and students to get back to class.
But while the President is surely channeling the fatigue of millions of Americans with the pandemic
, his demand for reopening without offering solutions that could restore a semblance of regular life safely is another apparent sign he’s prioritizing his political prospects over science.
With 184,000 Americans already dead, White House officials are hoping that Trump’s dive into cultural warfare following protests and unrest over police brutality will to some extent cover over his liabilities on the pandemic, sources told CNN reporters. Following 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’ve done a great job in Covid but we don’t get the credit,” Trump said on Fox News on Monday.
But the unspoken reality of that approach is that many more Americans will contract Covid-19 before the election, and thousands more will die. That is likely to play into efforts by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
to crush Trump’s hopes of a second term by lambasting his failures during the pandemic.
“Mr. Trump, you want to talk about fear?” Biden asked on Monday.
“Do you know what people are afraid of in America? They’re afraid they’re going to get Covid. They’re afraid they’re going to get sick and die, and that is in no small part, it’s because of you.”
New CNN reporting
reveals that White House officials have all but given up hopes of stopping the pathogen and are now returning to a forceful state opening strategy. The shift comes amid fierce political pressure from the White House on government agencies to approve new treatments and even a vaccine before Phase 3 trials are complete — in a move that could provide a short-term political payoff for the President while he is locked in a tough reelection fight but could have dire scientific consequences.
“We risk a blow-back. We risk one step forward, three steps backwards,” Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday night.
“That’s what happened with this administration opening too soon in southern states. That’s what’s happening in schools opening where there’s lots of COVID, and having to slam shut again,” he added. “We don’t want that to happen with a vaccine, because vaccines are precious. They’re our most powerful tools to control a pandemic.”
Discord inside coronavirus task force
Trump’s growing impatience coincides with multiple reports that the White House is growing receptive to the herd immunity, a theory reportedly advanced by the President’s favorite new adviser Dr. Scott Atlas.
The concept relies on allowing the virus to spread to build community resistance. Independent medical experts warn…