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Trump falsely claims the media wants to keep US closed to hurt his reelection

Trump suggested that he wants to end social distancing measures to help his reelection, against the advice of medical experts.

By Emily Singer - March 25, 2020
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Donald Trump

Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that he believes the social distancing measures put in place to stop the spread of the new coronavirus are a hindrance to his reelection.

“The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success,” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!”

Trump’s tweet comes one day after he told Fox News that he wants to get people back to work by Easter. Public health experts have advised against this, saying such a move would only worsen the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States so far.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday also warned against sending people back to work and school too soon, saying it would only cause the virus to spread.

Trump made clear on Wednesday that he views the social distancing measures — which have led the stock market to plunge and put the economy on pace for a recession — as a problem for his reelection, rather than a solution to an overrun of the health care system and countless deaths due to the COVID-19 disease.

Trump also said that “real people” want to get back to work, his latest apparent attempt to stoke a culture war between working-class Americans and the so-called elite.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that Trump is antsy that he cannot hold campaign rallies and that he wants to get back to his pre-pandemic routine of welcoming dignitaries to the White House.

As Trump has signaled his desire to go back to life before the coronavirus pandemic, GOP lawmakers and right-wing personalities are bolstering his argument by saying that COVID-19 really isn’t that big a problem, and that older Americans should risk their lives to let the country get back to work.

However, it’s much more complicated than that.

Public health experts say that if the virus spreads, the health care system will not be able to handle the influx of critically ill patients, leading to even more loss of life and possibly the crumbling of the system altogether if there aren’t enough doctors and health care workers. Italy, for instance, which is in the midst of a particularly bad outbreak of COVID-19, has served as a warning of what could happen in the United States if it doesn’t take sufficient measures to stop the spread.

Already, state and local officials across the country are warning that their health care systems are already near capacity and that the virus isn’t even close to its peak.

It’s a reality some Republicans see as they attempt to convince Trump to stay the course with social distancing measures.

“There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeted on Tuesday.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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