The New York Times reports that President Donald Trump only changed his mind on reopening the economy in time for Easter after seeing polls that indicated doing so would damage his chances at reelection.
Indeed, a recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 59 percent of Americans think that Easter, which falls on April 12, would be “too soon” to reopen the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the poll found 58 percent of Americans believe ignoring the virus and going back to “normal” would result in “many deaths,” compared with 32 percent who predict only “a few” would die in the coming weeks and months.
Trump announced Sunday that he’d extended federal social-distancing guidelines to April 30.
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” he said. “The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end.”
The president suggested that the United States would be “well on our way to recovery” by June.
“By June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery,” he said. “We think by June 1, a lot of great things will be happening.”
The president had long argued that the economy should reopen by Easter, contrary to the warnings from economists and health experts alike who say the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost the United States even more human lives.
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump said previously during a briefing at the White House. “America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
“It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’ll make it an important day for this, too,” he added from the White House Rose Garden. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
Not long afterward, the president accused media outlets of attempting to sully his reelection chances.
“The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success,” the president tweeted.