What virus is the usual thing in much of the Trump White House

The advisers insisted that there would be no change in the White House’s strategy to combat the pandemic, and that no additional money or new resources would be awarded to states facing spikes in the cases. “In only 3 percent of counties across the country are we seeing an increase in cases,” said a senior administration official. “The vast majority of the country is not experiencing that. When they turn on the television and see maps full of red and then go out to their communities, that’s not what they see. “

Some Trump administration health officials are interacting with states and contemplating how to control the latest increase, given that many of the affected counties are the most populous in each state. But Covid-19 is no longer in front and center of Trump or most of his White House, in part because it is seen as a difficult and lost problem for a president who has always felt much more comfortable playing economic entertainer who delving into the nuances of health. topics, according to interviews with half a dozen current and former senior administration officials and Republicans close to the White House.

The virus has claimed more than 121,000 American lives and no vaccine is imminent. But Trump and his aides continue to portray a relatively optimistic picture of the pandemic by promoting a slower rate of deaths nationwide, even as new cases rose 47 percent over the past week with an increase in the number of cases in Key states like Florida, Arizona, Texas, California, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Even the cases on Trump’s own team do not alarm the President. Trump’s indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last weekend led to positive diagnoses for at least eight Trump employees. That didn’t stop the White House’s drive to resume life and reopen business across the country, on the assumption that Americans take responsibility for their individual health risks and claim responsibility for response efforts.

“We are going to see these things. But the economy will not close again, “National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House on Thursday, echoing an opinion widely shared by other top White House advisers and the president himself.

“Health experts don’t tell us there is a second wave, and we have the tools to deal with this much more quickly than two or three months ago,” Kudlow said earlier in the day at Fox Business.

Health experts generally aren’t calling the last wave a second wave, that event could happen in the fall. But they have expressed deep concern about the increase in cases when the country tries to stifle the first wave. The United States has had one of the most serious and persistent outbreaks in the world.

An administration official said it continues to stockpile supplies to fight Covid-19. The coronavirus task force now meets once or twice a week, with Vice President Mike Pence making a weekly call with governors about the virus.

Still, the influence of top health officials around the president has waned within the West Wing, and Dr. Anthony Fauci is seen as a subject of great derision among some aides who frame the latest concerns as a threat.

Trump advisers are clear that the president does not want to put the coronavirus response under greater federal control, preferring to leave key decisions, and political consequences, to state and local leaders as he travels the country campaigning for reelection during the next four months. .

Critics, including some Republicans and many Democrats, argue that Trump and his team have abandoned responsibility for fighting the virus at a time when stronger leadership is needed.

“We are going to have to learn to live with this virus for a while, and to suggest that we are getting over it or that we are winning we just don’t appreciate what a public health emergency is,” he said. TJ Petrizzo, Republican lobbyist. Just accept it, trust him. You can’t close your eyes and say there isn’t a man in the bag in the closet because the truth is that this virus doesn’t go away. “

Trump spoke about the virus sparingly last week when he attended a campaign rally in Oklahoma, visited the border wall in Arizona, received the President of Poland at the White House, and flew to Wisconsin to visit a shipbuilding factory and headed a Fox News city hall with ally and friend Sean Hannity.

When he spoke about Covid-19, he touted what he saw as his administration’s stellar response, and for the second time in a week, he invoked a racist nickname for the virus: “kung flu.”

“Someday, it will be recognized by history. Someday, ”Trump said Tuesday in Arizona about the administration’s coronavirus efforts. “But our actions and his selfless sacrifice, and that was what it was, saved hundreds of thousands of lives. We had to do it. And we did the right thing. And I’ll tell you what, we did the right thing. Now we open. “

At his Thursday event, Trump repeated one of his explanations for the increase in cases, attributing it to more evidence, despite many health experts pointing out that the increase in the case count far outweighs the jump in evidence.