The federal government is reportedly preparing for a much worse outcome from the coronavirus pandemic than President Donald Trump has predicted.
For example, the Trump administration ordered more than 100,000 new body bags for COVID-19 victims in April, one day after Trump predicted the U.S. death toll from the virus would be between 50,000 and 60,000. The death toll has already exceeded Trump’s prediction.
Trump on the coronavirus death toll: “We are going toward 50,000 or 60,000 people … many of the people that have this theory — ‘maybe we could’ve gone right though it’ — I was somebody that would’ve loved to have done that, but it wouldn’t be sustainable.” pic.twitter.com/TrXGEhwzWF— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 20, 2020
NBC News reports: Body bag contracts bid by Homeland Security and the Veterans Affairs Department are just one illustration of how Trump’s sunny confidence about the nation’s readiness to reopen is in conflict with the views of officials in his own administration who are quietly preparing for a far worse outcome. Around the same time it wrote the contract for the body bags, FEMA opened up bidding to provide about 200 rented refrigerated trailers for locations around the country. The request for proposals specifies a preference for 53-foot trailers, which, at 3,600 cubic feet, are the largest in their class. The cache of internal documents obtained by NBC News includes an April 25 “pre-decisional draft” of the coronavirus task force’s “incident outlook” for the response, a summary of the task force leaders’ meeting the same day and various communications among officials at several agencies. The documents show that task force members remain worried about several major risks ahead, including insufficient availability of coronavirus tests, the absence of a vaccine or proven treatments for the coronavirus, and the possibility of a “catastrophic resurgence” of COVID-19.
More from the The Hill: Other internal documents obtained by the media outlet showed that the White House coronavirus task force has serious concerns about what lies ahead for the U.S., with fears that the country might endure another spike in infections in the future. Members of the task force were reportedly concerned over the lack of coronavirus tests, a vaccine or proven treatments for coronavirus and the possibility of a “catastrophic resurgence” of the disease. The news outlet’s findings underscore what seems to be a disconnect between the president’s optimism about the state of the coronavirus impact and public health official’s concerns regarding the pandemic. As of Thursday evening, 63,001 people have died of the coronavirus in the U.S and more than 1 million have tested positive for the disease, according to data compiled from Johns Hopkins University.