Economy/Government/Health

Trump’s plan to ‘reopen’ the country coming into view as virus monitoring will continue

President Donald J. Trump joined by Vice President Mike Pence, participates in a governors’ video teleconference on partnership to prepare, mitigate and respond to COVID-19 Thursday, March 26, 2020, in the White House Situation Room. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

(USA Features) President Donald Trump’s plan to get businesses reopened and people working again amid massive unemployment due to coronavirus-related shutdowns began to emerge on Thursday.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the president’s coronavirus task force coordinator, told reporters that the plan includes tracking the spread of the virus county by county, implementing policies aimed at slowing its spread. That, she said, would allow businesses to reopen and life to return more to normal in many parts of the country.

“This is what we’re talking about: how to do surveillance, how to do contact tracing, and how to do each of these items to make sure that you prevent that spread,” Birx said in the last minutes of a White House press briefing.

She added that the strategy will be “a laser-focused approached rather than a generic horizontal approach” for the whole nation made possible by using data taken from extensive testing.

Birx, the United States’ global AIDS coordinator, said the strategy is the same one used to track and fight the spread of that disease in Africa.




Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the coronavirus task force, told reporters that the panel of professionals would review the data and present the president with a range of options for updated guidance this weekend.

“But we’re going to do that responsibly … we’ll do that based on the data,” he said.

Trump has said he wants the country back to work as soon as possible and noted this week that Easter Sunday would be a good deadline.

“People don’t want to close,” he said Thursday. “I say it again and again.”

In fact, according to a survey this week, an increasing number of Americans are becoming more concerned with their own personal finances and the economy than their virus risk.

According to a new Harris Poll, fielded March 21-22 among 2,023 U.S. adults, found that a majority of Americans, 61 percent, now consider the amount of fear in society as “sensible given how serious the [coronavirus] pandemic has become.”

That is reflective of a 15-point jump from the 46 percent of Americans who viewed the fear as warranted last week.


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