(CNN) — The idea that President Donald Trump has turned a new sheet and is now leading the fight against the pandemic in a mature way is once again being exposed as a pure political game by his own behavior.
Trump launched a new push on Monday to get states to quickly reopen their economies, ignoring the fact that his previous advice on such lines helped spark an increase in cases in the Sun Belt.
The president then retweeted a video in which a group of doctors make false claims about the virus, including one that says “no masks are needed” because hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug promoted by the president, is a “cure” in combination with various other drugs. Multiple credible scientific studies say the treatment is ineffective against covid-19. The video, which went viral on YouTube, was later removed by Facebook and Twitter because it spread misinformation.
LOOK: Twitter temporarily restricts Donald Trump Jr.’s account after he posted a video alleging that face masks are unnecessary
That was only the last time that Trump’s demonstrations of responsibility for the virus, witnessed on his return to the White House briefing last week, were undermined by what appear to be his true views, conspirators and politicized. Just last week, the president reluctantly became one of the last public officials to endorse the use of masks to slow the spread of the virus. Now, once again, it is undermining government advice on the matter.
The latest sharp changes in the Trump virus came as Senate Republicans split into a new $ 1 trillion stimulus bill, and some conservatives warned that keeping federal unemployment benefits at current rates would deter a return. to work as the virus unleashes and delays the restoration of the economy.
Their argument was a new sign that Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill still they are fighting the pandemic that they want to exist, rather than a virus that is It develops at its own pace and is oblivious to its artificial political and economic schedules.
The Senate deadlock preceded extremely difficult negotiations with the Democrats and will inevitably degenerate into a hyperpartisan struggle given what is at stake in the upcoming elections. But any delay could cause millions of Americans who lost their jobs in confinements to be deprived of most of the federal government’s $ 600 a week, which it has last paid at previous levels.
It was also revealed Monday that Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, who works in the president’s west wing where no masks are worn, tested positive for the coronavirus, in a sign of how to brag about basic precautions not it leaves no one safe from infection, even if such steps are politically unpleasant.
The machinations in Washington unfolded in the context of a crisis that will not fade despite Trump’s optimistic rhetoric. While there are indications that the latest outbreak of disease in the southern and western states may be reaching its peak, the situation remains dire. On Monday, Johns Hopkins University reported 56,336 new cases and 1,076 reported deaths.
New reminders of how the virus has fractured American life came with news of new outbreaks in New Jersey, which endured many painful weeks of shutdowns to control covid-19. And baseball’s comeback is in crisis after just three days, as the Miami Marlins canceled two games after multiple coaches and players tested positive for coronavirus. Florida, in particular, has become a global benchmark for covid-19 cases, two months after Governor Ron DeSantis was outside the White House boasting about his state’s success on the virus.
Reflecting the fact that normalcy is many months away, Google said Monday that its employees would work from home until at least July 2021, contradicting the president’s new claim that a rapid economic recovery is already underway. .
Trump calls again for states to reopen
The president has little patience for such long-term goals.
He spent last week trying to show Americans that after months of denial and indifference, he was now taking the virus seriously after his fire spread through the states that followed his advice to open early.
But his comments on Monday suggest that the president is still working not on a timeline set out in the wisest way to suppress the worst public health crisis in 100 years, but because of the swift timeline set by his re-election campaign.
During a visit to North Carolina to promote vaccine development, Trump presented his usually optimistic and misleading summary of a pandemic that is killing hundreds of Americans a day. And he betrayed patience so that even the most affected states could move on.
“These states are not out of the woods, but rigorous adherence to the guidelines should allow them to move forward, and very, very quickly,” the president said, before focusing on other unidentified states.
“I really believe that many of the governors should be opening states that are not opening and we’ll see what happens to them.”
Maryland governor criticizes Trump’s reopening push
The costs of confinement orders, closings, restrictions on bars and restaurants and all service industries are wild and have caused deep economic and psychological misery across the country.
But the lesson from the previous state reopening that Trump defended by ignoring the guidelines written by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that opening too fast can cause spikes in disease and spin it out of control.
The president may now have states like New York in mind, which had tragic fights against covid-19 earlier this year, but has been extremely cautious in reopening entirely in an effort to prevent the return of high infection rates.
New York City has successfully reduced its infection rate, a key marker on the road to decreased transmission, to 1%, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
In Maryland, Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who imposed strict confinement measures and has seen an increase in cases primarily among younger people since he slowly reopened, condemned Trump’s rhetoric.
“We are in a waiting pattern … we are not ready to reopen anything, to open anything else,” Hogan told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“Twenty-two states are now backing down on reopening orders. We are not in that position either. It is the same type of message that the president had previously and I think it is a mistake to go back to those types of messages while we are seeing outbreaks across the country. ”
Trump’s impatience seems to hint that he will return to making claims about the covid-19 that are based not on scientific practice but on a desire to see the economy – which he considers crucial to his reelection – skyrocketed at any price.
Their frustration was evident when 150 prominent medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses, and other experts signed a letter urging leaders in Washington to close the country again and begin again to contain the virus.
“The best thing for the nation is not to reopen as quickly as possible, it is to save as many lives as possible,” they wrote.
But Trump’s new opening demands reflect his calls for all schools to be fully operational again in the coming weeks, while ignoring concerns among parents, teachers, and administrators that going too fast would unleash a new wave of viruses.
And the president’s comments also suggest that his more sober approach last week, which saw him finally endorse wearing masks and warn that the pandemic would worsen before it improved, was what it appeared to be at the time: a rash public relations effort due to the slump in electoral polls, rather than a serious effort to reevaluate his approach to the pandemic.
Republicans split from White House stimulus plan
Republican senators on Monday introduced a $ 1 trillion financial support bill to rival a $ 3 trillion version backed by Democrats.
Although it includes a $ 1,200 check for most Americans, the plan – an initial offer in talks with Democrats – reduces federal support payments from $ 600 to $ 200 for laid-off workers. Democrats are demanding that the payments be kept at $ 600 and are ruling out Republican attempts to establish a system designed to replace 70% or the previous wages of the unemployed that would incentivize a return to work for which conditions are not yet in place, as many observers warn.
The bill has divided the Republican conference and has baffled many observers as it includes $ 1.75 billion for a new FBI headquarters in Washington that has nothing to do with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and will raise questions about why The White House is ready to cut unemployment benefits, but it demands financing for one of Trump’s favorite projects. However, the Republican Party leadership in the Senate broke with Trump’s wishes by including billions more in his legislation to increase covid-19 testing, albeit far less than Democrats have said they wanted.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz of one of the states now most affected by the virus said there was “significant resistance” to spending another trillion dollars.
“The answer to these challenges will not be simply getting money out of Washington, the answer to these challenges will be to get people back to work,” Cruz said. The senator did not say how people should be expected to return to their jobs amid a pandemic, and the notion of reopening the economy at all costs seems to ignore the need for mitigation measures to stop the spread.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said the cut to federal payments was not a start and disagreed with the Republican Party’s position that paying people $ 600 it was an incentive for people to stay home.
“The idea that we need to dramatically reduce these benefits because workers will stay home otherwise is greatly exaggerated,” said Schumer, mourning over the bill now framing an explosive backdrop for the congressional elections they will have. place next to the presidential race in November.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, who serves on the party’s Senate leadership group, said it was a reality that several Republican senators would oppose the bill’s goals and details on principle.
“When it comes to spending money on these kinds of things, various Republicans are just not going to be willing to do that,” he said.