Trump, Republicans Wager Anti-China Rhetoric Will Play With Base, But Will It Work More Broadly?
President Donald Trump, his administration and other Republicans are going all-in on the anti-China messaging. In other news from the administration: the Pentagon charts its own course on "reopening," Trump urges schools to reopen as soon as possible and the White House task force members implore people to be smart about social distancing.
Trump, GOP Go All-In On Anti-China Strategy
Republicans are amplifying President Trump's anti-China rhetoric on Capitol Hill and in campaign ads across the country as the White House seeks to blame Beijing for a pandemic that has devastated the U.S. economy and killed almost 100,000 people in the U.S. It’s a message that’s playing well with Trump’s base — nearly a third of voters say they view China as “the enemy” — and is reminiscent of the hard-line, anti-immigrant positions that helped catapult him to the White House in 2016. But it’s unclear if ratcheting up the pressure on China will prove to be a winning campaign strategy with the broader electorate amid sagging poll numbers and daily news reports detailing Trump’s slow and shaky response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Wong, 5/23)
Trump Adviser Compares China's Handling Of Coronavirus To Chernobyl
China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is akin to the Soviet Union's response to Chernobyl, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, said Sunday. "The cover-up that they did of the virus is going to go down in history along with Chernobyl," O'Brien told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press," referring to the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine. "We'll see an HBO special about 10 or 15 years from now." (Mueller, 5/24)
Pentagon Charts Its Own Course On COVID-19, Risking Trump's Ire
The Pentagon is actively planning on living with the coronavirus well into 2021, putting it at risk of angering President Trump as he expresses confidence that the disease is on the wane. Defense officials have extended a freeze on troop movement, held ships in port and laid the framework for what the military will look like in an extended pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, a leaked Pentagon memo revealed that top Defense Department (DOD) officials are planning for the possibility that the military could be dealing with the virus beyond this year. (Mitchell, 5/25)
Trump Wants Schools To Reopen 'ASAP'—Majority Of Americans Think They Will Still Be Unsafe For Months
resident Donald Trump has issued a call for schools forced to close amid the coronavirus pandemic to be "opened ASAP," as new polling suggests that Americans do not believe it is safe yet to send children back to school. Trump shared the sentiment in a tweet on Sunday night, writing: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP." "Much very good information now available," the president said, tagging British political adviser and commentator Steve Hilton and Fox News in his tweet. (Da Silva, 5/25)
We Must Be Smart About Social Distancing, Birx Urges
As the United States approaches the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths and the long Memorial Day weekend brings large crowds, Dr. Deborah Birx said it’s “our job to continue to communicate” the importance of social distancing. On Friday, Birx — the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force — said people could enjoy the outdoors as long as they remained mindful of protecting one another. (Dugyala, 5/24)