With protests growing across the country peacefully challenging government stay-at-home orders, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that these grassroots gatherings could backfire on the very people who want America to reopen for business.
Speaking for President Trump, however, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says that protesters should observe proper social distancing guidelines as the country moves toward a three-stage process of putting America back to work.
Dr. Fauci, the long-time director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the president’s key medical advisers on the White House corona task force, offered these words of caution to those who are peacefully assembling to express opposition to shelter-at-home edicts.
His comments came in an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America today with anchor and former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos:
“Clearly this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics and the standpoint of things that have nothing to do with the virus, but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen. So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back. So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire. That’s the problem.”
Dr. Fauci spends so much time on TV that you have to wonder who is minding the store at his agency.
His field is, of course, medicine and not economics. Both have to be balanced to get the once-booming U.S. economy up and running and reduce the skyrocketing unemployment rate.
The president created a stir last week with supportive tweets to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, states run by Democrat governors who have imposed wide-ranging lockdown restrictions on their constituencies.
Trump has expressed particular concern over blue-state governors who have gone too far with heavy handed restrictions and appear to be using the COVID-19 outbreak as a pretext, among other things, for infringing on Second Amendment rights.
With nationwide protests on the table, Kellyanne Conway reaffirmed that Trump wants protesters to adhere by CDC guidelines, including physical distancing of at least six feet and wearing face masks during a live shot on the Fox News Channel.
When FNC anchor Sandra Smith observed that some protesters aren’t abiding by the government recommendations, Conway fired back that “at the same time, some of these governors have distanced themselves from common sense.”
Many unemployed citizens are asymptomatic, live in low-infection areas, and simply want to get back to work, Kellyanne Conway explained.
She declared that some governors are more concerned “about controlling the population than protecting them.”
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) April 20, 2020
Conway also pointed out the absurdity of a Michigan regulation under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a possible Joe Biden VP selection, that allows residents “to smoke your grass, but not cut your grass.”
Under the Trump administration plan, the governors can make the final call as to how to move forward within their boundaries. Some states with little or no coronavirus hotspots, are entering phase one as early as this week.
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