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Trump’s alarming message presages tragic days ahead


Even with the widespread adoption of rigorous nationwide mitigation efforts, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could face death in the coming weeks in a nationwide waterfall trial, according to the model explained by senior members of the President’s emergency task force on Tuesday.

It is in the nature of the presidency that the commander-in-chief must sometimes convey serious news to the nation.

But no president in many decades has had to complain to his country about such a sudden and imminent loss of American life in a medical emergency like Trump is now forced to do – after apparently accepting himself scale of the crisis.

It was not the first time that administrative experts modeled the possible death toll. But the combination of the president’s unusually serious demeanor and the sinister graphs of the curve of his senior public health officials sounded an alarming alarm missing from Trump’s previous briefings.

The brutal spectacle of a president, particularly one who has spent weeks rejecting the virus, warning of the imminent disappearance of so many Americans sums up the scale of the crisis.

“I want every American to be prepared for the difficult days ahead. We are going through two very difficult weeks,” said the president in the White House briefing room.

Trump’s briefing lacked mainly elements of self-congratulation and false hopes that characterized his heavily criticized leadership in the crisis.

To begin with, during his two-hour briefing on the marathon, he mostly ceded the scene to his credible lieutenants, Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx, who convinced him of the seriousness of the situation over the weekend. end.

There have been many false dawns when Trump failed to match the gravity of a moment during his tenure. Past behavior suggests that he may find it difficult to maintain his unifying tone at a time of unique national peril.

And the poignant scale of the impending tragedy already has some, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying that lives could have been saved if Trump hadn’t spent weeks denying the severity of the approaching and adopted pandemic more aggressive actions to prepare.

A battle on several fronts intensifies

The appearance of Trump came one day of serious events that highlighted the multi-frontal nature of the fight against Covid-19. Field hospitals have sprung up in New York’s Central Park to reduce the overcrowding of city hospitals. State governors have pleaded with the federal government for more ventilators, and doctors have prepared to make bleak decisions about who will live and die due to a shortage of machinery.

Fauci and Birx arrived armed with slides showing the soaring Covid-19 cases in New York and New Jersey in recent weeks, and more shallow curves for other states.

Their most encouraging moments were to refer to Italy’s late turn toward a downward curve of infections after weeks of agony, reflecting the heartbreaking substance of their message.

The coronavirus is just getting started. And your invoices are due

But in order to keep deaths at the bottom of their estimates, they warned that maximum mitigation efforts – including physical removal and keeping at home – were imperative.

Even with such a regime in place across the country – and some states and cities do not yet take the advice seriously – there will likely be between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths.

However, Fauci undertook not to accept these figures and to strive to keep the mortality curve below expectations.

He said there were warning signs that state mitigation efforts and the White House distancing guidelines, which were extended until April 30, are working.

“Whenever you have an effect, now is not the time to take your foot off the gas,” said Fauci.

“And that’s what I hope. And I know we can do it over the next 30 days.”

Birx called on the entire nation to unite and, in a comment that seemed to contradict Trump’s previous rhetoric on the crisis, added: “There is no vaccine or magic therapy. These are just behaviors . “

“Each of our behaviors translates into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days,” said Birx.

A serious moment in history

As Tuesday’s briefing progressed, the president indulged in his familiar misinformation and change of political form that underscored his own erratic leadership and dishonesty.

Empathetic in the face of the pain of New York and New Jersey, the president who, a month ago, predicted a “miracle” which would make the virus disappear, deplored “that they left very late”.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly criticized Trump for not using the full power of the Defense Production Act to boost the production of fans and other vital equipment.

Less than a month ago, the president, resisting calls to shut down the economy and take the pandemic seriously enough, equated the coronavirus to the common flu.

“So, last year, 37,000 Americans died from the common flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 a year. Nothing is stopped, life and the economy continue. Right now, there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think of this! ” Trump wrote in a tweet.

But now, with the number of virus cases in the United States reaching 200,000 on Tuesday and 4,000 dead, Trump has admitted that the two are not the same.

The president invoked an anonymous friend who he said was in a coma because of the illness.

“It’s not the flu. It’s vicious,” said Trump.

Later in the marathon briefing – which became more of an attempt to flood the area for political ends the longer it lasted – Trump claimed of the virus: “It just popped up and came out of nowhere.” The White House had weeks of notice after the disease first appeared in China.

As is often the case, the President’s spontaneous style raised questions about his tone when he abandoned his prepared remarks.

And Trump has also presented himself as an isolated force that resists calls to “get away with it,” warning that such an approach could cost more than 2 million American lives.

The president appears to be setting up a political construct to use in his re-election campaign under which he can claim to have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

CNN reported on Tuesday that not all of the president’s advisers were in favor of extending the removal guidelines.

The decision to shut down the previously purring American economy has thrown millions of Americans out of work and stunted growth. The extent of the devastation should be revealed in the number of jobs later this week.

Trump faces a distressing dilemma, balancing the desire to slow the spread of the virus with the need to send people back to work to mitigate the possibility of economic depression.

The health counselors argued that a one month extension of the removal guidelines was necessary.

But given that many hotspots may not reach their peak for weeks on end, it seems unlikely that the situation will have improved enough to soften the guidelines in a month.

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