Daily US Times: President Donald Trump instructed states on Monday to “maximize the use of all available testing platforms and venues” as they begin to plan their reemergence from coronavirus lockdown.
He downplayed the importance of testing, saying that maybe blanket testing wasn’t necessary as states move to reopen.
Mr Trump said at a White House event: “You’ll see some astonishing numbers — I don’t know that all of that’s even necessary.”
“You have some governors that love the tests, you have others that like doing it a different way, an old-fashioned way, with some testing,” he added.
The President’s comment contradicts his own administration’s guidelines which were issued previously and rebutting the expertise of health officials — were the latest in a string of confusing steps that appear to pit Trump against his own advice as he pivots to a post-pandemic American revival.
This is not the first time Trump contradicts his administration’s advice or guidance.
The administration said Americans should wear face coverings in public, but Trump said he wouldn’t be caught dead in one and Vice President Mike Pence, even visited a clinic bare-faced.
Federal recommendations said states should only begin reopening when they see a 14-day “downward trajectory” in coronavirus cases– but the president considers doing a ‘great job’ even places where cases are increasing.
White House guidelines indicate non-essential travel should be limited until another sustained period of declining cases passes — but the President says he’s going to Arizona next week and hopes to visit Ohio shortly.
The dissonance between the presidential messaging and official guidelines has confused some governors and, at certain moments, obscured the administration’s own intended storyline.
Meanwhile, Trump and his senior advisers — including Jared Kushner, his son-in-law — continue to argue at not getting enough credit for their efforts in combating the coronavirus.
In recent days, Kushner has privately expressed frustration that he and the administration overall aren’t getting enough credit for their efforts regarding the outbreak. Two people aware of his comments told CNN.
With a new set of guidelines being finalized on how to reopen certain types of establishments, such as schools and restaurants, the White House will face another opportunity to streamline how it thinks the country should return to normal.
Earlier this month, the White House issued a three-phase guideline for reopening states, but the guidance it did not contain specific recommendations like altering floor plans or reducing capacity inside establishments where social distancing was once impossible.
President Trump is already facing tremendous lobbying from industry groups who want to have a say in what the administration recommends, fearful the new guidelines could further affect their bottom lines.