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Trump arrogates “full authority” over states to decide to reopen country

The president of the USA launches himself against the media after days of criticism and accuses them of having minimized the risk of the coronavirus

Donald trump erupted Monday afternoon in the White House press room. After several days of criticism for the delay in measures to fight the coronavirus, the President of the United States took advantage of the daily press conference on the crisis to launch a frontal defense of his administration, with a promotional video included in the who went on the attack and accused the media of having minimized the risk of Covid-19. The Republican also assured that it is he, as president, who has “total authority” to decide the reactivation of economic activity, and not the governors of each State, when they have been the competent ones when ordering the confinements and it is these to whom the Constitution reserves power over public order and security. “When someone is President of the United States, authority is total. And this is how it should be.”, he highlighted before the journalists.

Trump expressed himself this way on the same day that the governors of New York (ground zero of the pandemic in the United States), Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island announced the creation of a working group to plan a gradual return to normality . And those in California and their west coast neighbors (Oregon and Washington State) will do the same. The federal government has promoted general guidelines, but it is the governors who have made the decisions. In fact, even though the Trump Administration has set April 30 as the provisional date for the end of the isolation measures, each State has set the terms it considers appropriate. Still others, like Iowa or Arkansas, for example, have not passed any ordinance for the state. The White House will announce a council of financial experts on Tuesday to work on its own revival plan.

The newspaper archive is as stubborn as the data and accounts for the more than two months that Donald Trump took to speak seriously about the coronavirus pandemic, how he went from ensuring that everything was under control, in early January, to comparing, already on March 9, the Covid-19 with the common flu to justify that nothing closed for it. In recent days, in addition, various media have reviewed all the lost weeks. Last weekend, The New York Times published an article on how the alarm voices of some experts – collected in long email chains – were ignored by health authorities for six weeks.. In addition, on Sunday, epidemiologist Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and man of the crisis group formed, admitted that “if the [confinement] measures had started earlier, more lives would have been saved.”

And this Monday, visibly angry, Trump went on the offensive against the media themselves. As soon as he began to speak, he asked that the lights be lowered and he showed a video in which, first of all, he collected television segments – including some from the conservative Fox network – in which several experts removed iron from the pandemic, with the label “The media minimized the risk from the start. ” Immediately afterwards, he indicated the first measures adopted by his Government, such as the veto on travel from China, and collected excerpts from a podcast by The New York Timesin which one of its journalists, Maggie Haberman, describes the measure as effective, but excluded the final part of the statement, in which it pointed out that it was the only one adopted in many weeks. Then it culminated in praise from various governors.

Until January 20, Trump justified, no case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country. “Do I have to close the United States, the world’s first economy, when I have no case?” Trump snapped. “On January 31 I approved the veto on travel from China, do you think it was easy? Joe Biden [Democratic candidate in pectore for the presidential] went crazy and called me xenophobic, “he added. Without that measure, he continued, “hundreds of thousands of people would be dead now, we did it well, but the media does not count it that way.” And he gave Spain as an example: “It is being decimated.”

Trump was quick to veto travel from China, Iran and South Korea, but he delayed on the other measures and did not defend the isolation policy until March 16. The United States exceeds 682,000 confirmed cases on Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University data center, and 23,500 deaths. Health experts estimate that, given the rate of death and hospitalizations, the country may have already passed the worst peak and is in the phase of lowering infections, which automatically encourages the debate on when and how to reactivate the economy.

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