Enlarge /. United States President Donald Trump speaks about COVID-19 after he signed a proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day on May 6, 2020 in the White House Oval Office in Washington, DC.
The federal government's poor response to the COVID-19 crisis has become even more detailed in the past few days as the Trump administration pressures the "reopening" message, omitting any data or expertise that conflicts with this focus could stand.
The White House has done everything it can to minimize news that could make Americans stay at home, and instead relies on "tightly controlled information" about the novel coronavirus disease, the Washington Post reports.
A source who described the Post as a senior administrative official told the paper that the crisis management task force met less often before President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that its focus would shift away from emergency management to economic reopening. Public health warnings scare people, the source added, and the administration has downplayed them.
The White House specifically prohibited Task Force members from accepting invitations to Congress hearings at the request of a House subcommittee. Task Force members, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, however, are due to testify before the Senate this month about the government's response. Trump told reporters Tuesday the difference was in politics, saying, "The house is a setup. The house is a bunch of Trump haters."
Centers for disease control and prevention that would normally be expected to be heavily involved in managing a pandemic have been shut down since March. The agency's last press conference on the novel corona virus took place on March 9, when it was known that about 20 people in the United States had died from COVID-19. To date, more than 75,000 people in the United States have died from the effects of the disease.
Yesterday, the AP released a leaked 17-page reopening guide compiled by the CDC. Officials reportedly told the CDC that their report, which included detailed guidelines for industries such as restaurants and childcare, "would never see the light of day."
The gap created by the lack of CDC press conferences has instead been filled with news straight from the White House, such as Trump's absurd suggestion to America to consider injections of bleach or other disinfectants to cure the disease. (Reminder: Don't do this.) Last week, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany took over the briefings and continues to drive government news about the economic recovery.
Experts have argued that states are not ready for gradual reopening, according to current plans released by the government, but governors in states like Georgia and Texas have continued their rapid reopening efforts this week.
Aside from the human cost of sweeping expertise, the administration appears to be satisfied. The president agreed in an interview earlier this week that there would be "more deaths" in the US due to a rapid reopening. "Will some people be badly affected? Yes. But we have to open our country and we have to open it soon," Trump told ABC News.
However, the denial has not proven to be an attenuating strategy for dealing with COVID-19 in the White House or elsewhere. The disease continues to spread nationwide, including within the administration. At least three employees who work directly with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the disease in the past 24 hours, including Trump's valet and Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller, who is also married to White House adviser Stephen Miller .