In an interview with MSNBC broadcast late Friday, former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt weighed in on President Donald Trump‘s handling of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Raw Story.
Speaking with anchor Joy Reid, Schmidt said that the president demonstrated during Friday’s White House press briefing that he is incapable of dealing with the ongoing crisis.
“I think what we saw today is this deadly combination of traits by Trump,” the former Republican strategist began.
“He’s incapable of relaying information accurately, number one, he sows confusion, he’s been indecisive as a leader, his delays, his incompetence, his ignorance has turned deadly.”
Schmidt also weighed in on the speculation that Trump is looking to reopen the United States economy as soon as possible, arguing that the federal government’s response has been insufficient.
“I think Trump has made the calculation that nobody is going to be in front of him on the line to reopen the economy,” he said.
The former GOP operative argued that millions will not be able to afford basic necessities, pointing to “hours-long” food lines across the nation.
“The reality right now, as the deaths pile up, this is an economic catastrophe,” Schmidt said, “where you see millions of millions of Americans will be out of money.”
Experts are in agreement with Schmidt’s predictions. As Bloomberg reported, top economists in the nation claim that the coming recession could even turn into a depression. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, the unemployment rate could hit 30 percent in the second quarter. Bullard also predicted an unprecedented 50 percent drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, unless the coronavirus is contained, there will be a depression, especially if there is a resurgence of the virus in the fall.
For weeks, Trump has appeared eager to reopen the economy, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced the federal government to keep much of the country shut down. During a recent press conference, the president described his decision on the economy as the biggest of his presidency, noting that experts will be consulted before a conclusion is reached.
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday, Trump vowed to rebuild the economy, stating that he expects it to take off like a “rocket ship” once all Americans are able to work again. According to public health experts, however, the restrictions would need to be loosened gradually in order to avoid another outbreak of the virus.