In Contrast To His Predecessors, Trump Doesn’t Attempt To Lead The Nation In Mourning
Even as the American death toll surpasses that of the Vietnam War, President Donald Trump has stayed away from trying to mourn with grieving Americans. In other news, Trump's social distancing guidelines quietly expire and are replaced with plans to help states reopen. And Army leaders defend Trump's decision to give a speech at West Point.
The New York Times:
Amid A Rising Coronavirus Death Toll, Trump Leaves The Grieving To Others
One morning this week, President Trump called food sector executives. That afternoon, he met with corporate leaders at the White House. The day before, he paraded small-business owners in the East Room, and the day before that, he showcased executives from retail giants like Walgreens and Walmart in the Rose Garden. As he presides over the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic collapse, Mr. Trump has hosted or called many people affected by the devastation, including health company executives, sports commissioners, governors, cruise boat company heads, religious leaders, telecommunications executives and foreign heads of state. (Baker, 4/30)
Federal COVID-19 Physical Distancing Measures Expire, More States Reopen
The White House's national physical (social) distancing guidelines—"15 days and 30 days to slow the spread"—expired, leaving the opening of states now in the hands of governors who are attempting to balance public health guidelines, the realities of testing, and mounting economic pressure to reopen communities. The guidelines, which were not enforced by law, recommended against non-essential travel, shopping trips, and social visits. All social gatherings of more than 10 people were also discouraged. (Soucheray, 4/30)
The Washington Post:
As White House’s Social Distancing Guidelines Expire, Health Experts Worry Mixed Messages Will Spur Public Complacency
Administration officials say the distancing measures have been replaced by White House guidance on how states should reopen — which include less stringent social distancing recommendations. But health experts say that does not offer individuals clear recommendations about how to navigate their daily lives and could unleash new outbreaks in states that push to reopen too early and too fast. (Abutaleb and Weiner, 4/30)
Fact Check: Trump Says The U.S. Ready To Contain COVID-19 With Contact Tracing. Experts Disagree.
President Donald Trump and members of his administration, who are eager to have parts of the economy restarted, have insisted that a robust contact tracing program to contain future outbreaks of the coronavirus is in place — even as public health experts warn the system is flawed and states are still largely unprepared. "Our blueprint describes how states should unlock their full capacity, expand the number of testing platforms, establish monitoring systems to detect local outbreaks, and conduct contact tracing. We have it all," Trump said on April 27. (Timm, 4/30)
West Point Cadets To Gather 50 Miles From Coronavirus Epicenter For Trump Speech
Top U.S. Army leaders insisted Thursday that the June 13 graduation ceremony they have announced for West Point cadets — after President Trump declared on April 17 he would be the commencement speaker — will take place in a "safety bubble" of measures aimed at preventing a further spread of the coronavirus. "We will conduct the ceremony much like the Air Force Academy did on April 18 in honoring completion of their 47-month journey to enter the Army ranks," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters at the Pentagon, "including at this unprecedented time for our country." (Welna, 4/30)