Appearing before the president at the virtual town hall, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump has asked for recommendations from the White House coronavirus task force for how he can send people back to work while minimizing the public health risk. Because we have to do that.
Trump and Vice President Pence have talked up what they call the need for the U.S.to reset in stride, as military commanders might say - to continue some mitigation measures to constrain the pandemic but also permit some businesses to reopen. It's such an important day for other reasons, but I'd love to make it an important day for this.
"I'm sure we have doctors who say, 'Let's keep it closed for two years, ' " Trump said.
In recent days, the president has taken onboard the idea that too much isolation and too much mitigation could be too ruinous for the economy, saying the "cure" can't be worse than the disease.
One source said Trump began talking privately late last week about loosening those guidelines after the 15-day shutdown is over because he is anxious about the economic damage.
Many public health experts have expressed alarm about Trump's suggestion that some parts of the country could soon ease some measures being taken to slow the spread of the virus.
The comments came less than 24 hours after Fox News host Steve Hilton said on Sunday that the economic impacts of social distancing would do more harm to Americans than the virus itself.
The administration's social distancing guidelines recommend against gatherings of more than 10 people, and many places of worship have adapted with online services.
The president and vice president framed one focus for the upcoming months on the most vulnerable populations, particularly older people with preexisting medical conditions. "It's loaded to save corporations", he said, specifically mentioning Boeing. "I wish that would stop and we'd look ahead at the challenge we have to pull together to get over this thing".
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told WMAL on Tuesday that Trump has always heeded his recommendations.
Trump's enthusiasm for getting people back to work comes as he takes stock of the political toll the outbreak is taking. "We don't want to lose these workers".
He also said that Trump doesn't necessarily deliver facts the way he, himself, might.
Trump's new push to promptly wind down social distancing breaks with the advice of public health experts who have been urging greater governmental action, not less, in the race to "flatten the curve" of cases and prevent communities from confronting the kind of crisis unfolding in NY - the current epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S.
Despite Fauci's remarks, CNN shared an article on Tuesday titled, "Has Donald Trump had enough of Anthony Fauci?".