President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a push for people to get back out in public in a bid to boost the faltering economy. The move would seemingly contradict medical experts who have suggested that the voluntary quarantine measures may need to go on for weeks.
According to Axios, Trump and some people within his administration are anxious about the impact that social distancing is having on the economy, with businesses shuttering and industries like the airlines and hotels hit particularly hard. The stock market has continued to crater after Congress has gone back and forth on a rescue stimulus package.
As a result, the president is reportedly ready to get things back up and running.
Trump hinted at this late Sunday night when we tweeted that the cure for the coronavirus — social distancing and self-quarantine — should not be worse than the virus itself. He suggested that after 15 days, his administration planned to re-examine the guidelines and make a new decision about which direction to take.
With the lockdown measures beginning a week ago, it’s possible that there could be a shift in policy in just over a week.
Vice President Mike Pence, who leads Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, echoed this message when he said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will begin to urge Americans who have had the virus to head back to work and wear a mask.
The messaging potentially contradicts the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has cautioned people that it might be two weeks or more until people will be able to head back out into public. He believes this may be necessary to continue to slow the spread of the virus.
“Taken together, Trump’s tweet and Pence’s comment supply the strongest public signals we’ve seen that the administration is looking for ways to get people out in the world again to fire up the economy — perhaps much sooner than Dr. Fauci would like,” Axios reported.
Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that he believes the lockdown measures could last 10 to 12 more weeks in order to best control the impact that the virus is having on people.
But Axios says that Trump is being pushed by some of his allies to get the economy back up and running despite the spread of the disease. He retweeted a number of messages from people like Tom Fitton and Tomi Lahren, who posted messages on social media urging an end to the national shutdown.
“At the end of the 15-day period, there will likely be a serious clash between the public health experts — who will almost certainly favor a longer period of nationwide social distancing and quarantining — versus the president and his economic and political aides, who are anxious to restart the economy,” the news outlet concludes.