In a tweet on the morning of May 11 and at a new conference that same afternoon, President Trump accused Democratic state leaders of dragging their feet in implementing measures to reopen their states’ commercial activities in the wake of the massive shutdown put in place to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He suggested that they were dong so to hinder the recovery of the nation’s economy and prolong the economic recession brought about by the cessation in normal business activities, in order to hurt his reelection chances in the November 3 presidential election.
The president specifically mentioned Pennsylvania (a critical swing state that Trump won by 44,292 votes out of more than 6,000,000 cast in the 2016 presidential election) in his morning tweet.
“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!” Trump tweeted.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, was quick to respond to Trump’s tweet during a news conference, saying:
I don’t know how you stay safe and move quickly. We’re trying to move deliberately.
In Pennsylvania I closed down the state ... in a measured stage, manner. And we’re reopening in the same measured, stage, manner. I think that’s aimed at keeping people as safe as we possibly can in these uncharted waters and I think that’s the responsible thing to do.
Wolf added that, “the irresponsible thing to do ... is to just to willy nilly just go off and pretend that we can wave a magic wand and go back into business and suspend the reality of this virus that’s surrounding us.”
Most of the orders implemented by Wolf that limit movement and business activities in the more rural areas of western and northern Pennsylvania will be lifted this week. However, the governor’s stay-at-home orders for Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs have been extended until June 4.
During an afternoon press briefing on May 11, Trump noted that it was up to governors to decide how fast to resume economic activity in their states.
“If we see something wrong, we’ll call them out and we’ll stop it. But we are leaving it up to the governors,” Trump said. “Some are being not aggressive enough, in my opinion, and some are being a little bit aggressive but they’re being very careful.”
A May 11 Reuters article said that Trump’s overall popularity has been “mostly flat” throughout the pandemic, with his approval rating among adults ranging between 40 percent and 45 percent from March to May, according to Reuters/Ipsos national opinion polls.
Such a response is not surprising considering the enormity of the worldwide pandemic, which by its nature is beyond the control of political leaders. The pandemic will have to be brought under control by employing the best medical knowledge available, as well as innovative treatments such as the MATH+ protocol described in the May 8 online article at The New American.
Photo of President Trump: AP Images