Trump went on a Twitter spree urging the US economy to go back to business as usual starting as early as next week
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- Late Sunday night and early Monday morning, President Trump went on a Twitt spree urging the US economy to get back to business as usual in just a week.
- "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!" Trump tweeted Sunday night.
- As multiple states grapple with an impending wave of coronavirus cases, they expect several major industries to be hurt as businesses remain closed for a period of months, not another week
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On Sunday night and Monday morning, President Donald Trump embarked on a tweet spree urging the US economy to go back to business as usual in just 15 days, likely setting up a major clash with both states and public health experts.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has wreaked unprecedented havoc on the US economy as entire industries almost completely shutter to mitigate the spread of the virus, the stock market tumbles, and unemployment claims surge as millions of Americans find themselves out of work or with severely reduced hours.
As on Monday, there are over 35,200 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the United States, including 471 deaths so far. New York, which has reported nearly 17,000 cases, has been particularly hard-hit.
But Trump appears eager to return as much of the economy as possible to normal in a matter of days, setting up a clash with individual states and public health experts who urge extended containment measures, including shutting down schools, most businesses, and even public spaces like parks, to limit the virus' spread as much as possible.
Late on Sunday night, Trump wrote in an all-caps tweet that "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself," saying at the end of a 15-day period of major economic activity being shut down that began on March 16," "we will make a decision as to which way to go."
Then on Monday morning, Trump re-tweeted a number of accounts spreading misinformation about the dangers and severity of the virus, including tweets from an account called @SexCounseling claiming that "We The People are smart enough to keep away from others if we know that we are sick or they are sick!" and another user tweeting, "Correct. 15 days, then we keep the high risk groups protected as necessary and the rest of us go back to work."
Public health experts have pointed out that the virus is highly contagious and can be spread by people who don't know they're ill and have no symptoms at all, meaning it's impossible to protect "high risk groups" while going about life as normal. For this reason, public health authorities and states are urging Americans to stay at home as long as possible and practice social distancing, and multiple states have severely restricted economic activity and travel.
As multiple states grapple with an impending wave of coronavirus cases, they expect several major industries to be hurt as businesses remain closed for a period of months, not another week. In at least New York, officials don't expect the virus to peak for at least a month.
In public appearances over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York warned said the crisis "is not a short-term situation."
"This is not a long weekend. This is not a week," he said. "It is going to be four months, six months, nine months."
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City echoed those concerns on Sunday.
"April is going to be worse than March," he said. "And I fear May will be worse than April."
On Monday, de Blasio said New York City public schools will likely remain closed for the rest of the school year.
The current guidelines from Trump administration officials in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise against holding any large gatherings until mid-May at the earliest.
Trump's own Surgeon General Adm. Jerome Adams has warned the public that things will get worse in the coming days.
"I want America to understand. This week, it's going to get bad," he told told NBC News's Savannah Guthrie on Monday morning. "We really need to come together as a nation...We really, really need everyone to stay at home."
And Dr. Scott Gottleib, the former director of the Food & Drug Administration, told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "the epidemic right now that's underway is probably going to peak sometime in April, probably late April and tail off into May and June."
But an aggressive attempt to re-open businesses as the virus still ravages entire states and strains healthcare systems will likely create a clash between the White House and individual states, many of whom have taken swift action to limit the virus' spread.
As The Dispatch's David French pointed out on Monday, individual governors "hold the police power in responding to public health emergencies in their state, not POTUS. He can't force them to re-open businesses if they deem the crisis severe enough to maintain closures...To put things as bluntly as possible -- the decision is not Trump's alone. In any given state, it's not even primarily Trump's to make."
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020