How Trump Put American Lives Before Economic Health

Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office on Wednesday before the biggest speech of his presidency, listening to his aides argue about whether barring Europeans from traveling to the U.S. would trigger a global depression.

The medical experts on his team were adamant: The best way to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus was to buy time by keeping Europeans out, they said, with the hope the virus might naturally ebb in the warmer weather, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, pushed back strongly, saying the economic cost would be steep.

Trump let them go on for a bit, then had heard enough. He dispatched some of the advisers into the nearby Cabinet Room and told them to come back with a plan they could all stand behind, said two of the people, who like others asked for anonymity to describe internal deliberations. When they returned with almost everyone endorsing the travel restrictions, Trump agreed to do a prime-time address to tell the nation.

His aides now see this moment as the most crucial of Trump’s presidency, the time when voters will decide whether he deserves re-election.

“We’re going to win or lose right here,” one said.

Another said, if the stock market is lower than when Trump took office, it would shatter his claim to being the one person who can keep the economy on track.

If that is truly the measure voters will use, Trump’s speech Wednesday did little to win their confidence or to win himself a second term.

The S&P 500 plunged nearly 10% on Thursday, chalking up its worst loss since the crash in 1987, even after the Federal Reserve took aggressive steps by flooding the market with liquidity and widening its purchases of U.S. government securities.

The speech was Trump delivering – one day late – a report he promised to the nation on his virus plan. It came after a rolling, day-long series of meetings at the White House, capped by Trump’s decision to endorse the travel restrictions. But beyond the travel ban, the economic measures he announced – paid family leave and small business loans – were modest and vague.

The hastily drafted 10-minute speech had undergone last-minute edits from the president and one of his senior advisers, Stephen Miller, after other aides had left the room, one of the people said. Among the changes they made: deleting a sentence where Trump said he and Melania were sending their prayers and love to people suffering from the illness.

The final draft that aides loaded into TelePrompter contained two significant factual errors and Trump himself inadvertently added another by mixing up his words.

Trump told Americans, “we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.”

That was not accurate. When the details were released later that evening, the rules barred foreigners who had been in Europe in the previous 14 days from entering the U.S. He stumbled over the words when announcing cargo would not be interrupted, accidentally announcing trade would be cut off. And he said the nation’s health insurance providers had agreed to pay co-pays for virus testing and treatment, something the industry quickly denied.

But the most important and most controversial proposal came not from Trump himself but from the medical experts on his virus task force, led by Deborah Birx. A medical doctor appointed to be the State Department’s ambassador for AIDS prevention, Birx made an impassioned case to suspend travel from Europe, the people said.

She presented a detailed case on how many of the new cases in the U.S. can be traced to Europe. If travel had been shut down earlier, she added, the outbreak could have been contained to a few states. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar backed her up, two of people said.

Mnuchin was strongly opposed, saying nobody was taking into account the damaging blow it would deal to an economy already shaken by the virus or the jobs that would be lost.

Some of Trump’s closest advisers argued for even tighter restrictions, including a complete halt of flights to the U.S. for 30 days, two of the people said.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien was among those who favored flight limits beyond Europe but did not support a total lockdown.

In the end, that idea of a full shutdown was abandoned as too extreme.

In the moments before the speech, a smaller group of aides spoke with Trump as he prepared to focus on the health urgency that underscored his travel decree. The group included Vice President Mike Pence, his daughter Ivanka Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Azar.

By the next morning, with markets plunging, Trump spoke with reporters about his address.

“I made a very tough decision last night,” Trump said. “And whether it affects the stock market or not. Very important. But it’s not important compared to life and death.

“So, I had to make that decision and, frankly, the people that are professionals praised the decision. And it’s something I had to do. I think you’ll see the end result is very good because of it.”

As of Thursday afternoon, there were more than 1,300 cases in at least 46 states.

via newsmax

22 comments

  1. This is not the time for petty political BS. It is time to come together and battle this. Let’s estimate how many people have died from other problems before COVID-19?. The spokesman for the CDC seems to be intelligent. Why didn’t Obama mail out a test to voters, also how come no-one mentioned anything during the Democratic debates?. Wuhan , China just reported 5 new cases! a positive sign.

    1. GOD BLESS PRESIDENT TRUMP and his speech…….TOO BAD that those DUMDEMS have nothing better to do than harrass our POTUS continually……….They slit their own throats and told everyone how corrupt & full of lies DEMS are………

  2. I have read that new cases everywhere there have been major outbreaks are declining. That is a good sign that the virus contagion is running its course in a lot of places where it started earlier. The bad news is, since the virus arrived later in the US, we are not yet at that point, but since this is typical of ALL viral outbreaks of this kind, it WILL happen. People just need to use common sense and stop running around setting their hair on fire and in general acting like Chicken Little. The damned media and ever-political DEMMUNISTS are driving this panic, hoping it will hurt Pres. Trump’s chances to be elected. These SCUM would exploit an outbreak of LEPROSY if they thought it would win them an election, because getting and KEEPING political power and control over the rest of us is ALL they care about!

    1. Getting control over “us”? What do they care about that? They care about determining resources and access to assets.. They are in short not politicians but embezzlers promising kickbacks after we turn over all our money to them.

  3. when this virus runs it course, the economy will come roaring back along the the stock markets. hysteria, fear and panic never breeds any thing good. when you have to quarantine then you basically shut things down to try to contain whatever contagious virus out there…only the common sense to do!!

  4. the only party that actually cares about people is the republicans.

    for the communist Democratic Party leaders this is just another day’s work to play politics to cement their power and control and their elite lives

  5. Did the Democrats go to China ? For what ? They sure talked to Iran ! And why , up to no good I’m sure. Spreading bullshit just like they lie their asses off to Democratic Americans , Obama was even slower to rise to the occasion, when a virus hit under his watch. So now what we wait this out. Good luck all I’ll pray for ya ! God bless the good people of America we stand with you and your son Jesus Christ and to pass this virus swiftly amen.

  6. President Trump cares more about the American people than his re-election. Thank you Mr. Trump, you have my vote.

  7. People are dying because of drumpf and he couldn’t care less. He wants people to die (preferably Democrats) so there will be less people to vote against him. He is the worst president America has ever had !!!

    1. paul you have to be the dumbest girl in America. You and your boyfriend need to sit down and re-think that little burst of stupidity that you put into writing. Can’t you see that the Demoncrats want to make slaves out of the working class??? Wake up Paul!!!!

  8. Check the facts. The most recent worldwide virus outbreaks were much worse than this one. The number of victims so far is a little higher than the annual outbreak of the flu. This is political. Blame the left; NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. There should be a class action suit brought on by the American people for knowingly causing panic without good reason. Political gain is not a good reason to scare the whole nation.

    1. You have nothing but hate in your heart for the first President who really cares about you! Good luck my man!

  9. You check the facts, Beverly!
    This is going to be MUCH worse than recent worldwide outbreaks, because it is growing exponentially (every infected person infects 2-3), and because this administration made some poor decisions from the get-go. We seem to be the only country without anywhere NEAR enough tests, and they haven’t even planned for what to do when the hospitals are full-beyond-capacity! Just look at Italy, and know we will be in a similar situation within a month or two…medical workers out on home-confinement, beds full and not nearly enough ventilators, gurneys in the hallways, people dying at home with heart attacks because they don’t want to go to the hospital…
    If you don’t believe me, you have only to wait…
    This administration has botched up everything it touches. Look at what happens, not what Trump says, because after all everybody knows he’s a chronic liar…

  10. You know nothing about what is really going on because you really don’t want to! Your ignorant comment speaks for itself with your narrow minded view of foreign affairs and policies. You are the one who is full of it, and what’s so frightening is that there are so many more just like you, who are so delusional to think President Trump is a racist. Could not be further from the truth! The real truth is that we now know China cannot be trusted as a reliable trade partner. They are all willing to allow American businesses to profit from their cheap labor knowing full well it will create an American dependency on the health of a China economy. Their backdoor approach to manipulate global currency has been their true agenda as a way to dominate the global markets and passively replace the US dollar as the world currency. This would give China an economic advantage over a global economy by which the US would fall under control of China economically and thereby control US policy on foreign affairs. President Trump understands this very well and has acted in our best interest to reverse this power play by China and he knows full well how to do it. China is not a country the US can trust in trade and Anerican businesses are waking up to this reality. Anerican businesses are bailing out of China to other countries that are more willing to partake in unilateral fair trade and many are returning home to the US. President Trump knows how to play the economic chess game far better than China and will defeat the Chinese efforts to control the global economic markets. China has never played a fair hand in trade with the US and never will. Their sole intention is to dominate the world by manipulating world currency and markets. They have no intention of being fair trading partners with any free world society. They are the enemy of the free world and President Trump knows that full well.

  11. Read Books, Read the news. You had your nose so deep in the fairytale you’ve been reading that you haven’t caught on to the fact that Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer, the clintons and many more of what I am sure are your favorite Democrats have been lying to you and stealing from you, while pointing their finger at the best President these United States has ever had and convincing the feeble minded such as yourself that it’s not them but him that is lying. WAKE UP!!!!!!

  12. When It comes to priorities Human Life comes first before finances. IF you try to save human lives first and do it promptly, then the recovery of the Stock Market will have a chance to respond with the lives you save. Saving human lives first will result in time an economic recovery. This is the correct thing to do. IF you are concerned first about people’s money instead of their lives, you lose both. People alive are the ones who drive the market up. If you lose people, then their lost lives will affect the Market to be at a loss for a longer period of time. Saving lives first will result in a possible quicker recovery in time.

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