March 2, 2021

Trump yields to controversy and maintains his coronavirus crisis room

US President Donald Trump reversed his plan to dismantle the coronavirus task force on Wednesday and will “indefinitely” maintain that crisis room, while admitting that the pandemic has been worse for his country than the 9/11 attacks or the Pearl Harbor attack.

Trump thus yielded to the controversy generated by the revelation on Tuesday that he planned to eliminate his working group, at a time when COVID-19 continues to expand in the United States. and the number of deaths could still double in the next three months to exceed 134,000, according to calculations by the University of Washington.

“The task force will continue indefinitely, focused on security and reopening our country again. We can add or remove people, as appropriate,” Trump wrote, adding that the team will also focus a lot on “vaccines and treatments. therapeutic “.


A few hours later, the president acknowledged that on Tuesday he received some calls advising him not to dissolve his crisis room, created in January to deal with the coronavirus and made up of a mix of health experts and heads of different government agencies.

“I thought we could dismantle it earlier. But I had no idea how popular this task force was until, in fact, yesterday, when I started talking about dismantling it. The public appreciates it,” Trump said in remarks to reporters during a act together with nurses in the Oval Office.

He explained that next week he will add “two or three members” to the group, without specifying whether he will also withdraw some of the current members, and stressed that “there will come a time when that crisis room will no longer be necessary.”

However, his affirmation that the working group will focus from now on especially on the “reopening” of the country hints at a probable change of priorities in the work of that team, whose emphasis may now be more linked to the reactivation economic than to contain the disease.

On Tuesday, Trump explained that he “would likely” replace the current task force with another team focused “on security and reopening,” and his backtracking on plans to disband the group may hide a willingness to keep him active with the same name, but change its members and functions.

Among the group’s twenty members are Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, who have sometimes distanced themselves from or contradicted Trump’s statements, and whose defense of maintaining movement restrictions to contain the pandemic has sometimes impatient to the president.


Surrounded by nurses in the Oval Office, Trump gave this Wednesday one of the best examples of the duality that has marked his response to the pandemic: he speaks of it in warlike and catastrophic terms, but also minimizes it to emphasize that the country must reactivate its economy and return to normal.

“We have been through the worst attack we have ever had in our country. This is worse than Pearl Harbor. It is worse than (the September 11, 2001 attack on) the World Trade Center (the Twin Towers, in New York)” he stressed.

In the same act, Trump said he would like “schools to reopen as soon as possible” despite the fact that the impact of the coronavirus continues to increase in the US, which on Wednesday exceeded 1,212,000 cases and 71,500 deaths, according to the unofficial count from Johns Hopkins University.


The huge death toll not only far exceeds that of the 2,400 Americans killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in (Hawaii) in 1941 or the 2,996 victims of the 9/11 attacks, but last week left the threshold behind. of 58,220 deaths during almost two decades of the Vietnam War (1959-1975).

That resounding number has begun to make Trump uncomfortable, who, according to the digital newspaper Axios, has complained to his team about the way in which deaths from coronavirus are calculated and believes that the real number could be lower, despite the fact that many experts believe that it is the opposite and that there are deaths that are not being counted.

An official source cited by Axios indicated that Trump is likely to begin questioning the death toll in public as he approaches his prediction of the maximum death toll during the pandemic – some 100,000 – and threatens to harm him politically, considering that there are elections in November.

Lucia Leal


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