(USA Features) President Donald Trump has said his decision on when to reopen the U.S. economy following the coronavirus pandemic will his most difficult as president, but it’s one he’s going to have to make, and soon, according to advisers.
The Washington Examiner reported Monday that a number of people close to the president have warned him there will be a small business revolt, which will affect his base of support, if he doesn’t give the go-ahead to reopen regions of the country soon.
“People are fine sitting at home this month, but they are going to start reopening stuff whether or not their governor says it’s OK,” a former White House official briefed on the discussions told the news site.
“There’s going to be a breaking point, and the president needs to get ahead of this and start issuing sound guidance.”
Most of the president’sc coronavirus task force advisers have warned that opening the country too soon could lead to a spike in infections, but a number of other influential voices are calling on him to take a measured approach and start sooner rather than later.
Last week, talk radio king Rush Limbaugh endorsed a caller who suggested business owners and people just ignore the guidance and go back to work.
“Well, I love the idea — if all of a sudden on Monday, people say, ‘Screw this,’ and went back to work. For that to happen, the people that owned the business would have to open ’em up,” he said.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham has also gotten on board.
“At some point, the president is going to have to look at Drs Fauci and Birx and say, we’re opening on May 1. Give me your best guidance on protocols, but we cannot deny our people their basic freedoms any longer,” she tweeted.
Other government and healthcare advisers have pressed Trump to hold off a while longer, claiming that deaths will rise if he doesn’t.
But Curtis Ellis, policy director with America First Policies, noted that a huge portion of the president’s base of support — small business owners — are being crushed by the shutdown orders.
“When Republicans forget Main Street for Wall Street, when they abandon the Fortune 5,000 for the Fortune 50, they are not just betraying their heritage and their base. They are aiding and abetting their political enemies,” he wrote for the pro-Trump website American Greatness.