Monday, March 30, 2020

In Dramatic Shift, Trump Tells Nation To Stay at Home Until the End of April

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown - March 30, 2020 at 09:32AM

Trump pivots on COVID-19 containment strategy and goals. The president has a depressing new vision for defining a coronavirus job well done.

In a televised Sunday night news conference, Donald Trump did an about face from downplaying the number of possible COVID-19 deaths in America, now suggesting that 2.2 million people here could die. Considering the circumstances, he said, getting that number "down to 100,000" deaths would be "a very good job."

Trump is "reframing the crisis," tweeted CNN reporter Daniel Dale. One might also call it moving the goalposts, to cover for federal missteps and hubris in handling the virus crisis so far.

But MAGA propaganda aside, the change in Trump's rhetoric is a welcome one. Last week, Trump was promising that most of America would be back open for business as usual by Easter Sunday. Last night, Trump announced that voluntary social distancing recommendations would stay in place for the month of April.

"Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won," Trump said. (Full remarks here.) He added that "on Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data, and strategy to the American people."

Stay tuned 'til then! And expect more reality-style rollout of U.S. COVID-19 policy, as Trump becomes enamored of the "ratings" that being a crisis-time president brings…


QUICK HITS

  • COVID-19 is causing a run on jigsaw puzzles.
  • A spiraling number of New York City police officers have caught the coronavirus:

  • In some good news, Seattle may be starting to see turnaround in its COVID-19 outbreak. Some observers are attributing this to early containment measures. Seattle was "home of the first known coronavirus case in the United States and the place where the virus claimed 37 of its first 50 victims," notes The New York Times. Yet "deaths are not rising as fast as they are in other states….Hospitals have so far not been overwhelmed. And preliminary statistical models provided to public officials in Washington State suggest that the spread of the virus has slowed in the Seattle area in recent days."

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