After years of taking credit for a trend of economic prosperity that began long before his inauguration, President Donald Trump is scrambling to revive the market that was once a key talking point in favor of his reelection.
In the past five weeks, 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment and non-essential businesses around the country have closed their doors until the national health crisis in the United States subsides.
For his part, the President has been advocating for a swift reopening of these businesses, calling for governors to scale back stay at home orders recommended by health experts. While opening soon could save jobs, it could also endanger lives.
A leaked internal memo reported by the New York Times found that—even as Trump presses to reopen—models predict deaths from the virus to double by June.
The Times reported:
"The projections, based on government modeling pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.
The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, significant risks remain. And reopening the economy will make matters worse."
The report continued:
"As the administration privately predicted a sharp increase in deaths, a public model that has been frequently cited by the White House revised its own estimates, doubling its projected death toll."
Nevertheless, as recently as Sunday night, Trump criticized certain states for not reopening soon enough.
Trump admin is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of deaths from #COVID19 over the next several weeks… https://t.co/Q8nQCqzZd3— Rula Jebreal (@Rula Jebreal)1588612094.0
The dissonance between the administration's predictions and its recommendations indicated that Trump values economic success over the survival of those he's sworn to protect.
This president has no conscience. In public, it's reopen, liberate & MAGA. In private, he knows we're far behind… https://t.co/xfabTIAkRE— Rep. Mark Pocan (@Rep. Mark Pocan)1588611285.0
So....the party of "American exceptionalism" that loves to celebrate the "unquenchable can do American spirit" is j… https://t.co/kixZqOAcoC— Seth Cotlar (@Seth Cotlar)1588609862.0
The GOP doesn't care if you die. https://t.co/hqju2db7r5— Terry (Teresa) 🇺🇲🧦🌐🌹 (@Terry (Teresa) 🇺🇲🧦🌐🌹)1588610505.0
Making certain that 1000's more die in order to (hopefully) get a tiny bump in the economy. This is the GOP. https://t.co/zOS5wKl0mC— Centrism Fan Acct 🔹 (@Centrism Fan Acct 🔹)1588611127.0
This "leak" may well be intended to acclimate us to a new normal--3K American deaths a day--as they get increasingl… https://t.co/Ezq8sY9amM— Vastleft (@Vastleft)1588620164.0
A spokesman for the Trump administration stressed that the findings of the document hadn't been vetted and didn't come from the White House task force responding to the virus:
"This is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the...Task Force or gone through interagency vetting. This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed."
People weren't heartened by the response.
@_WilliamsonBen @scottwongDC @JuddPDeere45 White House defense of "we haven't yet seen CDC projections from 2 days… https://t.co/INqbeV2KfQ— Obama Economic Legacy (@Obama Economic Legacy)1588615643.0
The White House used models by economist Kevin Hassett, who insisted COVID-19 wasn't a big deal. That wishful think… https://t.co/xzifoHMZ5v— Nicholas Grossman (@Nicholas Grossman)1588616003.0
"Jared has dismissed the work of these so-called experts but has not yet pulled more favorable numbers from his ass… https://t.co/tkUtOguNpn— Definitely Not a Sock Puppet Fred (@Definitely Not a Sock Puppet Fred)1588617601.0
The Trump administration greatly values dollars, but not sense.
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.