Reaction from Derek Martin, director of Allied Progress:
“We’re in real trouble if the President is disregarding public safety advice from Dr. Fauci in favor of nutty right-wing TV personalities with zero credibility. What pearls of wisdom is the President gleaning from Stephen Moore who thinks the country has “gone too far” in providing a safety net for senior citizens and that drug prices are just right? Or Tom Fitton whose only area of expertise seems to be spreading anti-immigrant propaganda and conspiracy theories — or out-and-out hate merchant Laura Ingraham? The President should listen to the medical experts first in a public health emergency and drown out the noise from people who make a living trafficking in fear and division.”
KEY POINTS FROM STORY:
Rattled health officials are trying to fight off ascendant voices around Donald Trump pressing the president to restart the economy as soon as Monday to stem severe business and job losses. […] Health experts are contending the fallout will be worse if the White House declares victory now, only to have the virus resurface weeks or months from now.
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump said during a Monday night briefing. “America will again and soon be open for business … a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting, a lot sooner.”
The change in tone comes as a growing faction of people in the White House have started to worry that weeks of economic shutdown will wreak unacceptable financial havoc.
“To use the analogy of a war, we send kids off to fight a war, and there are deaths associated with it. There will be deaths associated with this,” said Stephen Moore, an informal economic adviser to the Trump administration [….] Powerful Trump advisers have joined the chorus, including Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative government accountability group, and Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host.
Top administration health officials, including coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, have warned that case numbers are likely to spike in the coming days as testing ramps up. […] As the nation’s top infectious disease expert, [Dr. Anthony] Fauci has openly advocated for tough distancing measures, reasoning that it’s worth potentially overreacting if it means avoiding a worst-case public health scenario. That blunt approach has sparked speculation that Fauci could fall out of favor or be sidelined by the president […]