After two months of rampant response to the coronavirus, the White House plans to shift the attention of President Donald Trump to nascent efforts to alleviate the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
A few days after meditating publicly that scientists should explore injecting toxic disinfectants as a potential cure for viruses, Trump has now dismissed the usefulness of his daily briefings in the task force, where he repeatedly struck with scientific experts. Trump’s aids are aimed at moving the president to more familiar – and safer, they hope – ground: talking about the economy, in tighter, controlled settings.
It is a political imperative because the allies have seen an erosion of 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 handicap. At the same time, new Republican Party poll shows Trump’s path to a second term depends on public perception of how quickly the economy rebounds after state-by-state closures believed to slow the spread of the virus. .
Some states have started loosening closure orders, and Trump should start highlighting 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 last left the White House a month ago, and plans are underway for a limited travel schedule in the coming weeks, the aide said. It would be a symbolic spectacle that the nation 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 distancing 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 press briefings in a modified form without Trump, potentially in a different location. Before Trump said in a tweet on Saturday that they were “not worth the time and effort”, aides 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 audience was comfortable resuming more normal activities.
“We know this is important,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, “Sunday Morning Futures” of Fox News Channel. “We understand that these messages of science and politics must be conveyed to the American people in a non-political manner.”
Few Americans regularly turn to or trust 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 was 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 have a spike, that we don’t cause more deaths or an overload of our health care.” “Governor Larry Hogan, R-Md., Told ABC” This Week “.
Birx expressed frustration that Trump’s comments on the injection are still in the headlines, illustrating the tensions that have emerged between the president and his medical advisers.
“As a scientist and public health official and researcher, sometimes I am concerned that we are not providing the American people with the information they need, as we continue to talk about something that dates from Thursday evening,” a- she declared CNN’s “State of the Union”.
While the White House hopes to have reached a milestone, it is also beginning to assess the responsibility for critical missteps. Two senior administration officials said Trump had started talks on replacing the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, who chaired the Coronavirus task force in its 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.
Trump denied on Sunday that he would fire Azar in a tweet, saying “Alex is doing a great job!”