Defying All Logic, Trump Says Americans Can Practice Social Distancing While At Work

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In the past few days, President Donald Trump has made clear his desire to put a quick end to the practice of social distancing in order to combat the threat of coronavirus — a move that health experts agree is premature.

On Tuesday, however, Trump assuaged his message a bit, claiming that Americans could go back to work while still practicing the tenets of social distancing.

“Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly,” Trump tweeted out. “We can do two things together.”

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The “two things,” however, cannot feasibly work together. The idea of social distancing is that airborne pathogens become less likely to be passed person-to-person, including among a population of people who are not showing symptoms of the disease.

Trump added in his tweet a point he aimed to make over the weekend: that social distancing, in his view, was causing more harm than good, particularly for the economy.

“THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!” Trump said.

Trump on Monday made similar complaints about social distancing and its effects on America’s economic health — the sole topic that Trump has consistently polled well on. “Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump said in a press briefing on that day. “This is not a country that was built for this.”

While Trump continues to press for a shortened period of social distancing, health experts are saying the opposite needs to happen in order to give healthcare professionals the ability to treat patients infected with coronavirus without completely overwhelming the system to ruin.

“It is way too early to even consider rolling back any guidelines,” Harvard public health professor Howard Koh said to Politico. “With cases and deaths rising by the day, the country must double down, not lighten up, on social distancing and related measures.