Despite Grim Projections, Trump Resists National Quarantine

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President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as he warns of a grim few weeks ahead with tens of thousands of Americans likely killed by the new coronavirus, President Donald Trump is resisting issuing a national stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the disease.

Trump said earlier this week that he and members of his administration have discussed issuing a stay-at-home order but it was “pretty unlikely” for now. Then on Tuesday the White House offered “sobering” new projections that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will likely succumb to the coronavirus even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Wednesday noted in a series of television interviews that the U.S. federalist system leaves much of the authority on how to properly respond to catastrophes to individual state governors and local officials.

“We trust the governors and the mayors to understand their people and understand whether or not they feel like they can trust the people in their states to make the right decisions,” Adams said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The White House’s best-case projection assumes statewide stay-at-home orders, according to a senior administration official familiar with Trump’s thinking and speaking on condition of anonymity. Trump, the official said, is a believer in federalism and that it is up to individual governors to set restrictions for their states. The official noted that states are being hit by the virus with varying degrees of severity and they are best able to adapt the policies for their specific situations.

More than 235 million people live in the 33 states where governors have declared statewide shelter-in-place orders or have recommended that residents stay home.

In other states — places like Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, among others — governors have resisted state-level decisions, but some localities have declared residents should stay at home. Those types of local orders cover Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Orlando and St. Louis, along with dozens of other counties and cities.

Still, Trump — who has conducted long, near-daily briefings on his administration’s response to the virus outbreak over the last three weeks — has been reluctant so far to use his bully pulpit to urge governors to issue orders that would help effectively create a national quarantine.

The deference has come even as his administration has issued guidelines that have urged Americans to work from home if possible, cancel on-site learning at schools, and avoid large gatherings.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said Tuesday that Trump’s task force has not recommended he issue a state-wide quarantine order.

“If they do, obviously that would be something that carries a lot of weight with me,” said DeSantis, a Trump ally who leads one of the largest states yet to issue statewide orders. “If any of those task force folks tell me that we should do X, Y, or Z, of course we’re going to consider it. But nobody has said that to me thus far.”

Rep. Donna Shalala, a Florida Democrat, said in an interview Wednesday that Trump’s response has been “fragmented, weak and uneven.” She called on him to press governors for a unified approach to help stem the spread of the disease.

“He hasn’t made a national plea to say we’re all in this together, and he hasn’t even talked to the governors about all doing the same thing,” Shalala, who was secretary of health and human services under President Bill Clinton, said in an interview Wednesday. “I actually think they would, but he hasn’t even begun.”

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15 COMMENTS

  1. he will call for it, Just ta few weeks late like he has done with every crucial decision (except testing for which he was two MONTHS late). His gross incompetence in handling a crisis will be a textbook case for future leaders in what NOT to do. As the Boston Globe editorial was the first (but undoubtedly not the last) to point out ,our president has BLOOD ON HIS HANDS. The polls are already beginning to reflect it (seven point drop from last week in approval of how crisis being handled) and will only get worse as the death toll rises. Thankfully, the only benefit of this crisis is that we will rid ourselves of the worst human being to ever occupy the presidency.

    • Not only wont youget rid of him We will need to postpone election.

      Love the way you resort to your fake polls. He is doing a great job and will win again whenever the elections occur

      • anuary20: “I know more about viruses than anyone.”
        January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
        February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
        February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
        February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
        February 25: “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
        February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
        February 26: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
        February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
        February 28: “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
        February 28: “The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus.” “This is their new hoax.”
        March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
        March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
        March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
        March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
        March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
        March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
        March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
        March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
        March 6: “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”
        March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”
        March 9: “This blindsided the world.”
        March 13: “National emergency, two big words.”
        March 16: “I would rate it a 10.”… out of 10. “I think we have done a great job.” “It started with the fact that we have kept a very highly infected country, despite all of even the professionals saying it is too early to do this, we were very early with respect to China. We would have a whole different situation in this country if we didn’t do that.”
        March 23: “a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. … We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” Trump Says White House Looking At Date To Lift Social Distancing Guidelines.
        March 23: “We haven’t announced a date, but we are getting fairly close with coming up with a date,”
        March 23: Trump repeated what Fox News on Sunday Steve Hilton said: “We can’t turn [the economy] off and think it’s going to be wonderful. There will be tremendous repercussions. There will be tremendous death.”

    • Re your last sentence – too late, we already got rid of the worst human being to occupy the presidency in 2017.

      You have no idea how to handle a crisis. (Have you ever managed anything?) You would be like Chicken Little, constantly screaming that the sky is falling. Trump, more sensibly, is trying to balance various factors, such as the potential deaths from coronavirus vs. the potential deaths from people unable to support their families and committing suicide, for example. Is every decision he makes 100% correct? Probably not; he’s only human, after all (whereas you expect him to be a god, and then cast him in the role of the god of evil, like the ancient Persians and other pagans). But to take one example, his early ban on travel from China – which you and your fellow corruptocrats criticized as racist, etc. – has saved lives, whereas your party’s candidates would never have done such a thing.

    • I think we really need to begin ignoring Archy. What is the point engaging with a person who whines how he will be unable to make it without minyanim and will “go to shul,” while all responsible people hunker down as directed by all authorities, secular and rabbinic?

      • Thnak you for your insightful opnion. Watch thusnads of people go and hear duchaining yom tov. You can’t coniue to lock up the masses.

        By the way I never ever said go to shul. I said go to safe social distant minyanim in the street with a mask.

        Just as responbile as going to the grocery. You need to justfiy that before you open your trap

  2. Newly surfaced report from inside Trump’s own White House produced in 2019 by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. It was first reported by the New York Times, which noted that the report warned a pandemic could devastate the U.S. economy.

    Trump: It’s the flu.

    Six Weeks later-Trump: Many people say it’s the flu but it’s so much worse.

    • Alays easy to be a monday morning quarterback. These scary reports are released all the time by world news whether hurriacns or other disasters. Its almost always a nothing burger. Why should anyone have believed it this time more? The smart thing is to ignore it till its really a threat. There are too mnay of these warnings to contend with.

  3. Even Archy will soon admit that Trump was asleep at the wheel. Today’s NY Times has an article about how Trump’s supporters in the media echoed Trump’s dismissing the seriousness of the threat.

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