Donald Trump has signed on to what his medical response team has known all along: that the coronavirus pandemic is serious, it is deadly and it deserves an all-hands-on-deck response.
It took far too long for the president to accept what the scientists and medical gurus were telling him. However, his statement today tells me that the warnings he has heard are finally sinking into his thick, and vacuous skull.
Trump said today we can expect a very difficult two-week period ahead. The rate of COVID-19 infections are going to increase, as will the rate of death.
Governors have gotten it. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has extended the shelter in place directive to the end of April; he also has extended public school closures to May 4. Those dates remain fluid, of course, but at least our state government is taking the kind of proactive approach that — until this moment — has been missing at the federal level of government.
The president now projects 100,000 to 200,000 deaths from the virus. It’s a far cry from what he said not that long ago. It was just in February when Donald Trump said the infection stood at 15 and would vanish all by itself before too long. Hmm. It didn’t happen.
Indeed, it has gotten far worse than the president was letting on.
But … now he is on board with what the experts have told him. Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci are stellar infectious disease experts assigned to the task force led by Vice President Mike Pence. They have delivered a grim prognosis.
If only the president had accepted the bad news long before now. At least, though, he has signed on.