U.S. President Donald Trump’s White House is reportedly planning on offering a new message to Americans as the coronavirus crisis worsens and the number of cases continues to reach new highs: Learn to live with it.
NBC News reported on Friday that top members of the administration are planning to roll out the new message in the coming week, an apparent contradiction to a message shared by the president this week that he believes the pandemic will go away suddenly. As the report noted, the new message will stress to Americans that the virus will not be going away anytime soon and that they should find a way to press forward regardless.
The report noted that the new messaging is an attempt to coalesce around a common theme after weeks and months of mixed messaging from the president and top members of his administration. Trump regularly downplayed the severity of the virus in the early weeks of the outbreak, predicting that it would soon go away and comparing it to the common flu — even as some of the top medical experts in the federal government issued more dire warnings and advised Americans to begin taking strict precautions to slow its spread.
The new message will continue pushing Trump’s insistence that the U.S. economy move forward with reopening after months of shutdowns, the report added. Trump has long called for businesses to reopen and warned of the dangers of a continued shutdown to the American economy.
The White House will now stress to Americans that they need to deal with the virus as the economy stays open, the report noted.
“The virus is with us, but we need to live with it,” one official told NBC News.
While the new messaging is expected to be echoed from top White House figures, the report noted that it is still unclear if they can keep Trump on script himself. The president has been known to contradict his own medical experts, sometimes prompting corrections from them in real-time when the White House held daily press updates on the spread of the coronavirus.
The new messaging also comes at a time when coronavirus cases in the United States have hit an all-time high, reaching record daily cases several times in the last week. There are growing hot spots across the country, including many in states where governors followed Trump’s lead in pushing for businesses to reopen despite warnings from public health experts that it was still too soon to do so.