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Trump: “I hope we can do rallies. It's great for the country.”

4 min read

We have reached some strange place but it’s on the path to the bunker and it’s a scorched earth.

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— Chris Sommerfeldt (@C_Sommerfeldt) April 17, 2020

“…there is somewhere between 50 and 80-fold more infections in our county than what’s known by the number of cases than are reported by our department of public health,”

The Trump guidance gets our country only part of the way to the goal. It’s not so much a reliable road map as suggestions based on inexact data. Already, Texas has announced that it will be reopening parts of its state; others are expected to follow. Without more clarity, urgently, reopening under the conditions proposed would almost certainly result in new waves of infections and deaths. All the sacrifices Americans have already made would be in vain.


The guidelines call for a robust public health infrastructure to conduct contact tracing. This is key to moving from societal-level mitigation to containment on an individual level. When case numbers are low enough in a community, workers can identify each new positive case, trace every person the infected individual came into contact with during their infectious period, and isolate and quarantine those affected. This outreach is time- and labor-intensive, but it can be done by people with a basic level of public health training. Various proposals have suggested that students or those currently out of work be deployed for tracing.
Tracing could require a workforce of as many as 300,000 people. The guidelines do not outline a federal role, but a national program to recruit, train and deploy these workers makes infinitely more sense than 50 state programs with differing protocols and procedures.
As things stand, it’s unclear whether the federal government intends to invoke any enforcement authority over states that do not abide by the guidance. Although the president initially said that the decision to reopen was entirely under his authority, this new guidance was framed as a voluntary measure. The spread of infections illustrates that diseases do not respect state or national borders. Premature reopening of one state affects neighboring states and could spark a second wave of infections that affect the entire country. It should be clear whether the federal government would exert authority if states make decisions that run counter to the guidance.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

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— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) April 17, 2020

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— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) April 17, 2020

And then there’s these people:

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— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) April 18, 2020

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— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) April 17, 2020

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— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) April 18, 2020

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— Paul Schroder (@Paulnetx) April 18, 2020

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