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Mon Mar 30, 2020, 08:42 AM

Trump beats a retreat on opening the country as coronavirus data, images show dark reality

For six days straight, President Trump talked about reopening the country quickly. He wanted people filing into offices again, diners returning to restaurants and shoppers gathering at malls without fear of contagion.

Trump mused about a reopening date of April 12, picking it arbitrarily because he thought it would be beautiful to see church pews packed with parishioners on Easter. Then he dug in, seeming to tune out the nearly unanimous assessment of public health experts and governors and mayors fighting to help save lives, which was that Easter would be far too soon because the worst still was yet to come. As the self-described wartime president saw things, the novel coronavirus was a “silent enemy” and America was defeating it.

What a difference a week makes.

Trump beat a hasty retreat on Sunday, announcing from the Rose Garden just before dusk that the federal government’s stringent social distancing guidelines, set to expire on Monday, would be extended through April 30.

More still — as the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 2,400, nearly 1,000 of them in New York alone — the president acknowledged that the silent enemy was gaining ground.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-guidelines-easter-elmhurst/2020/03/29/c15c21f2-7215-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html

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