President Donald Trump wants to reopen the country at the end of this month despite a potentially disastrous resurgence of COVID-19.
The Washington Post reports: Behind closed doors, President Trump — concerned with the sagging economy — has sought a strategy for resuming business activity by May 1, according to people familiar with the discussions. In phone calls with outside advisers, Trump has even floated trying to reopen much of the country before the end of this month, when the current federal recommendations to avoid social gatherings and work from home expire, the people said. Trump regularly looks at unemployment and stock market numbers, complaining that they are hurting his presidency and reelection prospects, the people said. … Health experts say that ending the shutdown prematurely would be disastrous because the restrictions have barely had time to work, and because U.S. leaders have not built up the capacity for alternatives to stay-at-home orders — such as the mass testing, large-scale contact tracing and targeted quarantines that have been used in other countries to suppress the virus.
During a White House briefing Thursday, Trump was asked whether America needs a nationwide coronavirus testing system before the country can reopen.
“No,” Trump responded. “We have a great testing system. We have the best, right now, the best testing system in the world. …
“We want to have it, and we’re going to see if we have it,” Trump added of a nationwide testing system. “Do you need it? No. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes. We’re talking about 325 million people.”