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Donald Trump's coronavirus strategy to be re-examined after second American death

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Democratic presidential candidates, led by former vice president Joe Biden, are tearing President Donald Trump apart for politicizing the situation. The president, his son, and his conservative cheerleaders had previously said that criticism of the administration's efforts was an orchestrated political campaign to bring him down.
On Capitol Hill, negotiators have moved closer to emergency funding – perhaps up to $ 7 billion – well above the $ 2.5 billion demand for the White House – to fight the virus, which is on the verge of becoming a global epidemic.

Agitated by the virus, the political maelstrom gripping Washington intensified when the first two Americans perished from the coronavirus. Two men are now dead from the disease in King's County, Washington State. The two had underlying health concerns, with one man in his 50s and the other in his 70s, officials said. There are now new confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases in California, Massachusetts, Washington State, Arizona, Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, Rhode Island, New York and Florida.

As the administration faced a rapidly growing crisis, Vice President Mike Pence covered the political debates on Sunday in his new role as head of the coronavirus task force. He was relying on an apparent reset of the administration on Saturday with a press conference at the White House involving the president and senior medical officials.

Trump's first controversial and widely criticized public appearance last week on the subject, as well as inflammatory remarks about the virus and the Democrats at an election rally on Friday evening, threatened to overshadow his efforts to ;mitigation. His previous comments that the number of cases in the United States may soon disappear and that his administration had made "enormous" efforts to thwart the virus arriving in the United States now seem premature.

Pence said an emergency effort meant the shipment of 15,000 new coronavirus test kits over the weekend. Trump has announced new travel restrictions and screenings covering Iran and parts of Italy and South Korea.

The vice president tried to keep the situation in perspective, but warned that there could be more deaths.

"For people who have other conditions – this would militate for a worse outcome, then we might have more, we might have sadder news, but the American people should know that the risk to the average American stays weak, "Pence told Jake of CNN. Tap on "State of the Union".

There are now 88 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, including 44 people evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and three from the epicenter of the virus in Wuhan, China. There are 19 other cases related to travel to America and 18 person-to-person transmissions. The origin of four other cases, in Illinois and Rhode Island, is not yet established.

Pence will not criticize the inflammatory words of the president's son

Pence defended the president's son Donald Trump Jr. for saying that the Democrats supported the deaths of "millions" of Americans so that the coronavirus could harm Trump politically. And he complained that a president – who has done more to make public life bigger than any other modern politician – has been the target of "very strong rhetoric" from his opponents and media.

Pence, who can be a talented communicator, gave a good impression of an administration that coordinates the various government departments and takes the threat of the virus seriously. His assessment of the situation was more consistent than the president's comments at Saturday's press conference, which were often light on details and sometimes contradictory. Yet, like many others nominated by the president for political gain, Pence has the habit of repeatedly repeating the president's role in the crisis so far – perhaps in the The expectation that his boss was watching – in itself politicized the response effort.

In a show of focus, Trump plans to visit the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week. He also announced a meeting with pharmaceutical companies – although his confident predictions that a vaccine will be close are belied by warnings from public health officials that development and clinical trials could take a year or more.

But the extent to which any elected leader can control the virus, the public reaction to its spread, and the political and economic reverberations that saw the stock market rout last week and fears of a global economic slowdown, remain uncertain.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, fresh out of his South Carolina primary victory on Saturday, helped Trump manage the crisis.

"The idea that Donald Trump said just a few days ago that this was a Democratic hoax, what is he talking about in the name of God? What is it Is he speaking in the name of God? Is he not ashamed? " Biden said on "the state of the Union".

Trump commented on an alleged "hoax" during an election rally in South Carolina on Friday evening. On the defensive at his White House press conference on Saturday, he said in a seemingly contrary statement that the reference to the "hoax" did not refer to the virus, but to its use by Democrats to attempt to harm him politically. .

Another Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg bought a prime-time exhibit on CBS and NBC on Sunday evening to attack Trump's management of the coronavirus epidemic and to argue that his skill mix after years of activity and as mayor of New York would allow him to do a better job.

"At times like this, it is incumbent on the President to reassure the public that he is taking all necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of every citizen," said Bloomberg.

"The public wants to know that its leader is trained, informed and respected," said Bloomberg's speech. "When a problem arises, they want a manager who can gather the facts and expertise to deal with the problem

Beware of actions after the global rout

Much of the public's mood in the future may depend on how the stock markets regroup after the worst week since the 2008 banking crisis triggered the Great Recession. The extent of the spread of the disease in the United States will also be significant. If it can be confined to hotspots and a net of new cases, the political impact can be moderate. But if the disease invades the population, dissatisfaction with the government's response could mount.

While the administration has managed to largely coordinate a positive message of control over the weekend, contentious questions remain regarding its handling of the crisis. For example, there is a debate over whether the White House used the weeks between the first emergence of the disease in China to properly prepare the United States for its arrival – on issues related to hospital capacity and if there is sufficient equipment and supplies, including breathing apparatus for any large-scale epidemic. It is not yet known whether the public health system and hospital networks are prepared for the type of epidemics seen in China, South Korea and Italy, for example.

Any failure in this area would likely rebound against the administration and cost Trump politically, much like a recession triggered by a coronavirus, as he prepares to stand for re-election.

Yet a strong response to the crisis could ease criticism of Trump's ability to effectively serve as president and to manipulate the federal government's mechanism to fight a crisis – a perceived deficiency that Democrats are targeting.

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