US President Donald Trump (File photo)
US President Donald Trump (File photo)

Trump backs governors seeking to reopen economies despite failing to abide by White House COVID-19 guidelines

ANI | Updated: May 06, 2020 12:19 IST


Washington DC [USA], May 6 (ANI): US President Donald Trump has been backing those states across the country that are moving swiftly to reopen their economies despite failing to achieve benchmarks laid out by the White House.
The US President had ordered respective governors to await lifting restrictions until coronavirus infections declines.
Some states, such as Texas, Indiana, Colorado and Florida have pushed forward with relaxing social distancing guidelines even as the number of people testing positive in many states has increased in recent weeks and testing continues to lag behind, The Washington Post reported.
White House recommendations released last month encouraged states to wait to see a decline in cases over a two-week period, as well as having robust testing in place for frontline workers before entering "Phase One" of a gradual comeback.
But Trump and some of his aides have backed away from their own guidelines, opting instead to hail the broad economic reopening that health experts say has started too quickly. The dichotomy comes as the White House also tried to distance itself from a draft federal government report predicting an explosion of new coronavirus cases and 3,000 daily deaths by June 1, the newspaper reported further.
It underscores how an eagerness by Trump and several state governors to begin restarting normal activities after a weeks-long economic slowdown has clashed with a stubbornly high national caseload that has defied the president's predictions of a swift and safe reopening.
The decision to reopen economies in haste also marks another round of confusing guidance from Trump, who released the guidelines with fanfare during a briefing and now shows no problem with states that ignore them, the Post said.
"There's not too many states that I know of that are going up. Almost everybody is headed in the right direction," Trump said during a Fox News town hall on Sunday, in which he presented a misleading and rosy assessment of the crisis.
"We are on the right side of it, but we want to keep it that way. We also want to get back to work," he added.

In reality, new coronavirus cases are increasing in about a third of states, compared with just a few where there has been a sustained decline. That mirrors the national trend, as the rate of new cases has levelled off in recent weeks but not declined.
Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said most governors who have decided to open up are clearly not following the letter of the White House guidelines.
"The first part of the criteria is sustained decline. And we don't see that," Jha was quoted as saying by the Post.
To date, 1.2 million people have been infected by coronavirus and more than 68,000 have died in the US.
The White House continues to support its guidelines but also wants local officials to take the lead in deciding how quickly to ease restrictions, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
While individual states' decisions to move more quickly than recommended under the White House guidelines are regularly discussed during coronavirus task force meetings, those decisions are not seen as defiant toward the Trump administration, the official added.
One reason could be that the president rarely discusses his own guidelines, instead of encouraging states to move quickly to reverse the economic calamity that took hold as governors imposed stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus.
According to reports, Trump has also expressed support for protesters pushing their states to end the orders and tweeted about a need to "liberate" several states -- including places that White House guidelines indicate should remain in a state of lockdown.
Politically, governors have come to learn that they are more likely to be criticised by Trump for maintaining stay-at-home orders that comply with White House guidelines than they are for opening up their economies before meeting the Trump administration's own criteria for doing so. (ANI)

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