Nearly three months after the coronavirus emerged in the US, Trump’s administration has a growing number of task forces, including one led by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, but there is still no clear cut plan of action to end the pandemic and reopen the country.
The delayed response to the outbreak and chaos among the rotating task forces has caused President Donald Trump’s approval rating to plummet to a six-month low of 43 percent, according to a Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll.
According to the Friday poll, among 500 likely voters, 56 percent disapproved of Trump’s performance in office as he leads the nation in the midst of the outbreak.
There are over 534,000 cases of the COVID-19 across the country and over 20,000 deaths as of Sunday.
On Friday the start of a new economic task force called ‘Opening Our Country Council’, led by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, was announced to restart the country’s economy.
The Trump administration has multiple task forces, but no clear cut plan to end the coronavirus pandemic and reopen the country, nearly three months into the crisis
Donald Trump’s approval rating plummeted to six-month low of 43 percent Friday, according to the daily tracking poll by Rasmussen Reports
Another group dubbed the ‘doctors group’ also started a couple weeks ago and consists of Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr Anthony Fauci, Brett P. Giroir, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn and CDC Director Robert Redfield.
While all report to Vice President Mike Pence as he leads the helm of the Coronavirus Task Force – there’s still no clear cut plan to reopen the public as officials face bureaucratic hurdles and competing agendas.
To start off Trump’s administration has been heavily criticized for its delayed response to COVID-19.
Today there is still no concrete plan for giving states vital medical supplies – as many states compete among each other or ask the president for favors.
New Hampshire is just one of the states complaining about the federal government’s crumbling testing kit strategy.
On Wednesday Governor Chris Sununu said the federal government hasn’t sent enough medical supplies to run the 15 new Abbott mobile COVID-19 kits sent to the state. They came with just 120 single-use cartridges to perform the test, when twenty must be used to calibrate the machines and for training.
The administration also has no plan for what happens If the death toll climbs again once people are allowed back to work or for a second wave of the virus, which many public health experts warn may happen.
On Friday the start of a new economic task force called ‘Opening Our Country Council’, led by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, was announced
Public Health officials say that the steps to reopen the country are to have nationwide virus testing, serological test – which allows the exposed who prove immune to the virus to return to work, and contact tracing.
Another key is surveillance of nationwide testing to make sure numbers of cases and deaths are accurate to make informed decisions to move forward.
The FDA anticipates to approve a serology test within the coming weeks, but they would only be at first available to essential workers like medics and food workers.
To reopen the country Trump would have to have states’ approval. Some states have shuttered school through the fall and many child-care facilities follow those schedules and governors across the nation have opposing views on the severity of the virus.
‘The whole response has been lagging the curve of the epidemic, and what ought to be happening is the designation of key strategic goals, key accomplishments that can happen within a specified timeline,’ Jack Chow, a former World Health Organization assistant director-general, said to the Washington Post.
‘It sounds like they’re groping for that. There isn’t any clear direction as to what the strategic goals are in each different line of effort, and what the prospective timeline could be given the assets they have to deploy,’ he added.
‘Everything they’re doing is responding to something that’s already happened,’one unnamed former senior official said. ‘Coordination from this White House has never been a particular strong suit.’
As of Sunday morning there are over 534,000 cases of the virus across the country and over 20,000 deaths
The Post conducted a report based of interviews with 22 senior administration officials, public health officials, and Republicans involved with the White House and found that most pronounced the biggest obstacle to the virus response is Trump himself.
Advisers have had to scramble to dissuade the president from his spontaneous decisions – such as his bid to reopen the country by Easter or to hail unproven drugs as miracle cures.
Despite efforts to reopen the country, scientists are actively working on a vaccine but say it is expected to take at least a year.
But Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short says the administration is working to create conditions that will allow governors to restart commerce sooner than that. He says the administration expects therapeutics to combat the virus to be made available by fall.
While Trump has fixated on hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug as a breakthrough in treating COVID-10, health experts say more study is needed to measure side effects.
Some sources pointed out that the Situation Room for the crisis has turned into a ‘Game of Thrones’ where officials anticipate a daily seating chart and list of speakers. Coronavirus Task Force members (left to right) Dr. Anthony Fauci, coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn
Some officials say the greatest obstacle to the virus is President Donald Trump himself
However, Pence’s staff is adamant that the task forces are not competing but all report up to Pence and the main task force.
Some sources pointed out that the Situation Room for the crisis has turned into a ‘Game of Thrones’ where officials anticipate a daily seating chart and list of speakers.
One senior official described it as a ‘reality show drama’, it’s like ‘Game of Thrones’.
Those Situation Room meetings, sometimes attended by the president, last 60 to 90 minutes and include doctors, policy officials and communication aides including Hope Hicks.
Some administration officials say the virus response has improved under Pence’s leadership with more organized meetings and a responsive press team.
U.S. Navy Sailors prepare to transport a patient arriving for medical treatment from an ambulance onto the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort in New York on April 9
Members of the National Guard communicate with individuals at a newly opened Coronavirus testing site in Brooklyn on April 11
Sgt. Alejandra Cabos has her temperature taken before entering the California National Guard Headquarters in Sacramento, California on April 10
However, there have been fights over where test should be sent, and modelling used to forecast the spread of the virus.
In one meeting the president joined last month Trump wanted to understand why ‘herd immunity’, allowing the virus to spread unchecked assuming that those who survived COVID-1 would be immune, is a bad idea.
‘Why don’t we let this wash over the country,’ Trump asked, two sources said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci replied: ‘Mr. President, many people will die.’
Fauci doubled down on his comments to not reopen the country before the time is right in a Friday interview on CNN.
‘I would want to see a clear indication that you are very, very clearly and strongly going in the right direction, because the one thing you don’t want to do is, you don’t want to get out there prematurely and then wind up back in the same situation,’ he said.
Hour later Trump said: ‘I have a big decision coming up and I only hope to God that it’s the right decision.’