President Trump’s latest call to reopen the United States economy within weeks has put him on a collision course with public health officials.
If the president goes through with the idea of urging Americans back to work in less than a month, he would be rolling the dice in an extraordinary way amid the worst public health crisis in a century.
The potential downside is enormous. If Trump makes the move and the coronavirus surges anew, U.S. health systems could be overwhelmed and a huge number of people could die. The president would likely be held culpable in the minds of many for such a catastrophe.
But Trump might decide to take the gamble.
There is a best-case scenario, too — one in which the worst projections for the virus prove overblown and Trump is lauded by voters for saving their livelihoods in defiance of the more cautious advice of experts.
Trump has grown increasingly restless with the restrictions that have been erected to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Around 100 million Americans are already under stay-at-home orders or about to be subject to such instructions.
Trump said during a Fox News virtual town hall event Tuesday that he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
Easter Sunday falls on April 12.
Last week, Trump said the coronavirus crisis could last until July or August.