According to an Associated Press report, President Donald Trump’s allies are recruiting “extremely pro-Trump” doctors to go on television and advocate reopening the national economy as speedily as possible. This would be “without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.”
AP learned the news after it obtained a leaked recording of a May 11 conference call with a senior staffer for the Trump reelection campaign organized by CNP Action, which is an affiliate of the conservative Council for National Policy. The Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive watchdog group. provided the recording.
“There is a coalition of doctors who are extremely pro-Trump that have been preparing and coming together for the war ahead in the campaign on health care,” GOP activist Nancy Schulze, who is married to former Representative Dick Schulze, (R-Pa.), said on the call. “And we have doctors that are … in the trenches, that are saying ‘It’s time to reopen.’”
“The president’s going to get tagged by the fake news media as being irresponsible and not listening to doctors,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and the husband of Mercedes Schlapp, a Trump campaign senior adviser who also voiced her support for the idea. “And so we have to gird his loins with a lot of other people. So I think what Nancy’s talking about … this is the critical juncture that we highlight them.”
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, confirmed the details of the plan, though he denied to specify when it would be put into action.
“Anybody who joins one of our coalitions is vetted,” Murtaugh said earlier this week. “And so quite obviously, all of our coalitions espouse policies and say things that are, of course, exactly simpatico with what the president believes. … The president has been outspoken about the fact that he wants to get the country back open as soon as possible.”
“Our job at the campaign is to reflect President Trump’s point of view,” Murtaugh added. “We are his campaign. There is no difference between us and him.”