President Donald Trump wants to reopen the country by May 1, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The president remains reluctant to publicly set a date, but the Post cites anonymous sources that say behind the scenes, Trump is telling advisers that May 1 is the day that Americans should be allowed to return to work.
On Wednesday, Trump declined to give an “aspirational” date, noting that he was immediately criticized for hoping the country would reopen by Easter.
“I said it would be very tough, and I was criticized for that, so I don’t like giving dates,” he said on Wednesday during the White House press briefing, but he added, “I think we will be sooner rather than later.”
The president told reporters that to reopen the country, it had to be on the “downside of that slope” of the infection and hospitalization curves that he and the coronavirus task force have been watching for weeks.
Amid Trump’s optimism about reopening the country for business soon, Dr. Anthony Fauci has described a more gradual approach.
“People say, ‘Reopen the government,’ like it’s a light switch that goes on and off for the entire country,” he said on Thursday, adding that “it’s not going to be one size fits all.”
He stated that different parts of the country would have different patterns of the outbreak, citing New York as an example.
“I would not want to pull back at all in New York until I was clear that that curve really was doing what we’ve seen in other countries — a very steep decline down — and we had the capability if there was a resurgence, of having everything in place to be able to do the containment,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that there is no doubt in his mind that the president would reopen the country as soon as possible.
“I think most of America knows that no one wants to reopen America more than President Donald Trump,” he said. “But the president has told us we need to do it responsibly, and we’re going to follow the data.”