Donald Trump‘s motivation to end “social distancing” restrictions designed to curb the coronavirus crisis and to “reopen” the country by Easter comes largely from his own boredom with being forced to stay inside the White House with very few visitors and no large campaign rallies, according to a new report.
Trump has held 82 rallies since his inauguration, a rate of one every two weeks. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has held no rallies since March 2. According to the report by CNN, Trump has become “restless” and “antsy” as the crisis drags on.
That “slowdown in his own life” has led, in part, to Trump’s “strong desire” to bring an end to the social distancing restrictions and reopen businesses in large segments of the country by April 12 — Easter Sunday — according to the CNN report.
On March 16, the Trump administration announced guidelines for social distancing — suggesting that Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and other similar limitations to avoid transmission of coronavirus.
“I gave it two weeks,” Trump said on Tuesday, in a Fox News interview as quoted by CNN. “We will assess at that time.”
But even the Trump administration’s own top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has said that he expects the social distancing measures to be neccessary for at least “several more weeks,” according to a report by The Guardian.
Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, told The Guardian that removing the restrictions by Easter Sunday would create “an open door to chaos.”
But Trump has developed “cabin fever,” according to the CNN report, “crashing meetings of his coronavirus task force,” and trashing his daily schedule in order to push his daily public press conferences on the pandemic into television’s prime time.
Despite Trump’s claim that the country could be largely back to business by Easter, the White House has already cancelled its annual Easter egg roll which was set for April 13, according to CNN. On April 21, Trump was set to host only the third official state dinner of his term in the White House, when the king and queen of Spain were scheduled to visit. But that event has also been scratched from the calendar.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Spain had reached the second highest coronavirus death toll in the world, with 3,445 fatalities, according to the population data site Worldometers. Only nearby Italy has been hit worse in terms of deaths, with 7,503 so far.
The United States was closing in on its 1,000th death on Wednesday, according to the real-time data assembled by Worldometers. As of 5 p.m. EDT in the U.S., the country had suffered 910 deaths, an increase of 130 from Tuesday.