On Tuesday, the President has been continuing to suggest that America’s economy will soon be back in business. And by soon he means in a few weeks.
Realistic or delusional? Well, listen to the experts.
He is receiving multiple warnings from his medical advisers and from epidemiologists that the coronavirus grip on the US is only just beginning. In fact, it is likely to peak around the very date he is proposing to reduce the mitigation strategy.
In other words, the White House is on an epic collision course with scientists and the global community about the best way to proceed.
The WHO is warning that America is about to become the next global hotspot.
That doesn’t appear to trouble the Trump White House.
“I would love to have (the economy) open by Easter. I would love to have it open by Easter,” the President told an interviewer. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
That’s just 19 days away. So as the UK is starting to lock down the country, America’s President is advocating for the exact opposite course.
President Trump has also been comparing the coronavirus to the flu, saying that despite losing thousands of people to the flu, “We don’t turn the country off.”
Even loyal Republicans are aghast at this erratic strategy. Liz Cheney - a congresswoman from Wyoming and the daughter of the former Vice President - is normally a Trump cheerleader. Not today.
Meanwhile, ordinary Americans are bracing for the coronavirus hurricane to strike with full intensity in the coming few weeks. Already the death toll is 649. And it’s expected to increase rapidly over the next few days, with New York at the epicentre.
State Governors have been making it clear they will act despite the increasingly bizarre guidance emerging from the White House - over 120 million Americans are under orders to stay at home.
Perhaps the President will change his mind and not make decisions based on economic or stock market considerations.
His own businesses are facing a disaster too, with his Trump-branded hotels and golf courses forced to close. All of the stock market gains of his presidency have now been wiped out.
But Americans are not in this time of crisis deserting the president. The latest Gallup polls indicate that 60% support his handling of the pandemic at this time, against 38% who disapprove.
But you have to conclude this country is in deep peril. US hospitals are about to be overwhelmed. There are insufficient ventilators. There is little testing being carried out. Congress is still haggling over a financial rescue package.
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is issuing ever more desperate pleas for equipment for healthcare workers. And he ridiculed Trump for claiming credit for sending supplies to New York, and issued this warning to the Administration: “You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators. What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000 ventilators? You’re missing the magnitude of the problem.”
Amid all of this, the President is proposing the imminent lifting of the only measures that are known to stem the pandemic.
Who is their right mind thinks that America’s economy will be “raring to go” in less than three weeks?