President Trump keeps saying "we cannot let the cure be worse" than the public health impacts of the novel coronavirus. We are nearing the end of the administration's 15-day plan established on March 16 to stem the spread of cases, and Trump is indicating he wants to reopen businesses very soon, even as many states are just starting to implement severe restrictions on public gathering.
CNN's John King told Boston Public Radio on Tuesday the president is essentially "trying to push his public health professionals to agree to not extend those restrictions," in order to kick the economy back into gear.
King said the timing just isn't right for that to happen.
"On the one hand you want the president, and his team, and you want every governor, every mayor, and every CEO out there — whether your business is large or small — working on a plan that when it is safe you can flip the switch and put the economy back in high gear," he said. "If they did not have a plan for this, we would pummel them for being irresponsible and not having a contingency plan. The question is whether they should be talking about it right now."
King said the administration is using a blunt object to attempt to have a complicated, nuanced conversation about the economic impacts of shuttered industries while the nation attempts to isolate and prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by a sharp uptick in cases.
"Now, if you read some of the stuff the president says, the nuggets of the conversations are in there, maybe we can protect seniors, and the less vulnerable people can start to go back to work," he said. "That is a conversation we have to have at some point, but ... the president, when he needs to use a soft approach he comes in with a bludgeon, he's scaring people."
John King is CNN's chief national correspondent and anchor of Inside Politics.