Fair is fair and while I have been critical of President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus he finally did the right thing and I commend him for his extending the nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days. He had to back down from his push to reopen the country as coronavirus continues to spread but he made the right call in choosing science over the business community and likely saved lives in the process.
The 15-day guidelines Trump announced two weeks ago were set to expire on today, and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to relax them, at least in some parts of the country. He even floated Easter, on April 12, as a potential date by which the country could return to normal.
However, after a two hour briefing on Sunday President Trump listened to the leaders of his scientific team and extended his deadline to open the United States for business to at least April 30th with the possibility of an even longer wait if needed.
The leaders of President Trump’s coronavirus team Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx made it clear to him that returning to business as normal could kill people and likely lead to a recession as well to be a political disaster. Also, with both Republican and Democratic governors would likely ignore the return to work order it would have not very effective.
According to CNN Fauci and Birx had a Sunday morning briefing where they presented the President with a model that projected 100,000 to 200,000 people could die in the US, information that seemed to move the President to understand that things were perhaps worse that he thought at the time.
Given the data, Trump felt he didn’t have an option but to agree to more time, multiple sources told CNN. Trump agreed with the recommendations put forward by Doctors Birx and Fauci “without much pushback at all,” a source told CNN. “He was interested in them and accepted them.”
However, President Trump remains fearful of a larger national economic meltdown that has been slowed down with last week’s passage of a massive $2 trillion stimulus package. For Trump, this came down to the risk vs the reward and he picked science over commerce