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Home / US / As the bitter autumn approaches, the Trump team feels more and more confident

As the bitter autumn approaches, the Trump team feels more and more confident

“I can say they’re comparing things to where they used to be,” said a senior Republican close to the White House. “When you compare a disaster with a total disaster, disaster doesn’t seem so bad.”

“I don’t feel like they don’t know what ‘under control’ will look like,” the official added. “They’re doing their best. It’s just one of those situations. I don’t feel it. even they know what the goal is ”.

Trump is entering the fall and winter months that could be more dangerous for the nation, with the spread of Covid-1

9 coinciding with the flu season – a dangerous combination that public health officials have been worried about. shy from long ago.

“Autumn can be extremely horrible,” added that the Trump administration has largely wasted the summer months, leaving the country better unprotected, said Yale School of Medicine epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves. with June. “Someone will have to explain to me, 10 years from now, why they made these bad choices.”

Some allies in recent weeks have questioned whether Trump’s resumption of regular press conferences would help his re-election case, worried that sessions are largely optimistic – being stressed by the president asserted that the virus will eventually “disappear” – contradicting the growing health and economic crisis. off the ground.

The White House in recent weeks has shifted to wiping less optimistic health officials and relying more on Dr. Scott Atlas, a new senior adviser whose Fox News comes in and pushes for school reopening. has attracted the attention of top aides like Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks.

Atlas is currently attending a morning meeting, separate from the coronavirus task force, with other key aides such as Kushner, advisor to Kellyanne Conway’s president, Stephen Miller senior adviser, Dr. Deborah Birx, director International Development Finance Company chief executive Adam Boehler, test specialist Brad Smith and top media assistants, according to a senior White House official. Meadows does sometimes – although in recent weeks he has spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill trying to negotiate a fourth stimulus package. Atlas, a neuroscientist, also came to the podium during Wednesday’s briefings at Trump’s invitation and spoke at a same-day event about the need to reopen schools.

The small group’s goal, the official said, is to ensure the White House can make faster daily decisions about the Covid-19 response. But the group also excludes many of the government’s top health officials such as the head of the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist. , Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“President Trump spearheaded a historic response to the coronavirus across the US – resulting in the acquisition of 100,000 ventilators, sourcing vital PPE for our frontline heroes, and a regime. Robust testing results in more than twice the number of tests compared to any other country in the world, ”said White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews. “This leadership will continue as we reopen the economy, step up the development of vaccines and treatments, and continue to see a dramatic drop in mortality in the US.”

Reopening – or not opening – schools this fall provides another twist for Americans to gauge the administration’s virus handling.

Trump’s push for the full reopening of schools in July collapsed in the face of state resistance and increased throughout early August, as more and more schools and universities chose to begin. partial or full online classes.

In Arizona – where Republican Governor Doug Ducey initially advocated an attempt to completely reopen schools – the state is now urging counties to remove three standards to control the spread of the virus before The main school district continues live classes. A week before classes begin, no Arizona county currently meets that criterion.

States that have tried to get their kids back to school have had disappointing results. Twenty-two schools in Mississippi reported coronavirus infections, a number that state health officials said Monday was likely to increase.

Georgia’s Cherokee County closed a high school after cases were identified, forcing more than 1,000 students into quarantine. That came after one of the state’s other high schools temporarily closed after a series of active tests were recorded just days after photos of the school’s crowded hallway went viral.

Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Institute of Global Health, predicts: “By Columbus Day 80% of the children in our country will be online and the number could be higher than that. “What we need is a real blueprint to open schools and keep them safe so the kids can be there for a long time. We’ll end with the kids in the remote areas for the rest of this pandemic. ”

Trump administration officials in recent weeks have largely advocated efforts to persuade governors to send children back to the classroom, as it has become increasingly clear that there is little enthusiasm – or scientific evidence – for with Trump’s statement that children are “almost immune” to Covid-19.

Since telling the governors in early July that “on the recommendation of your president and this task force that we should reopen schools,” Vice President Mike Pence rarely put open schools. The back door was the main subject of his weekly calls with state leaders.

One person familiar with the private discussions talking about the vice president’s attitude in recent weeks: “Pence has actually maintained more than a ‘let countries make this decision’ approach.

On Monday, Pence admitted to the governors on his weekly call that making sure classes are safe will require additional funding – as the total amount remains a sticking point in stalled negotiations in Congress over the next coronavirus bailout. He added that the White House wants to spend about $ 100 billion for schools in the next law, while Democrats “are back with a much higher figure.”

The White House then issued a series of vague new recommendations for schools that included basic advice like making sure students and staff “understand COVID-19 symptoms”.

“We want to be very, very safe and careful,” Trump said on Wednesday, in stark contrast to his Twitter assignment just a week ago to “OPEN SCHOOL !!!” At Wednesday’s briefing meeting, Trump said his administration was exploring the idea of ​​directing federal school payments to parents instead of counties to give parents options if schools Their localities are not open.

“When you sit at home in the basement looking at the computer, your brain starts to dry,” Trump said at the meeting in a clear stroking of his rival, former vice president Joe Biden. “We have a lot of good experience about that just by looking at what’s going on in politics.”

As the United States entered the fall, the response to the White House’s handling of the coronavirus was still divided along partisan lines. On average, about 77 percent of Republicans approve Trump’s handling of the coronavirus compared to just 8 percent of Democrats. A Republican lobbyist argues that some Americans will complain “until there is a vaccine” no matter what moves the White House is trying to make.

But others blame the authorities for downplaying the virus’s threat. They argue that the months of failure and failure, likely to continue until the fall, are the result of a government’s resistance to developing any clear strategy to fight the virus – even when they have spent countless hours refining their message and effectively trying to speak out of a crisis.

An outside adviser spoke of the mixed message, lamented that Trump was unable to make the more nuanced case that the administration is actively fighting a bad outburst. at the same time laying the foundation for a brighter future. “His leadership style and model did not always call for a multi-faceted approach.”

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