Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Thursday raged over the Trump administration allowing states to relax lockdown restrictions, contending that the GOP “showered their friends w/ bailout money” instead of pursuing preventative measures to lessen the impact of the public health crisis.
“The Trump admin is now projecting 3,000 daily deaths by June, and they are STILL pushing to ‘reopen,'” Ocasio-Cortez raged.
“We are now careening towards one 9/11-scale death event *per day.* This was all preventable w/ tests, tracing,& policy. Instead the GOP showered their friends w/ bailout money,” she claimed:
The Trump admin is now projecting 3,000 daily deaths by June, and they are STILL pushing to “reopen.”
We are now careening towards one 9/11-scale death event *per day.* This was all preventable w/ tests, tracing,& policy.
Instead the GOP showered their friends w/ bailout money.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 7, 2020
The White House this week sharply dismissed the purported “Trump administration document” predicting an estimate of 3,000 daily deaths from the coronavirus by June 1.
“This is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere stated on Monday.
“This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed,” Deere added.
Trump also said this week that the report reflected an instance with “no mitigation.”
“So based on no mitigation, but we’re doing a lot of mitigation,” he said.
“The fact that they’re out, they’re mitigating, they’re social distancing, they all know that, they’re washing their hands a lot,” Trump explained. “But we have to get our country open.”
“Look, models have been very inaccurate, I’ve seen models that are very inaccurate,” Trump added.
Indeed, the Imperial College, London study, which outlined concerning doomsday models, triggered the stringent lockdown orders in the U.S. and UK. However, none of those models came to fruition.
Researchers predicted that as many as 2.2 million could die in the U.S. if the nation did not respond with preventative measures and warned that “moderate” action could still result in over one million deaths in the U.S. They also warned that the health care system could find itself “overwhelmed many times over.”
“We did everything right, but now it’s time to go back to work,” Trump said as Americans clamor to head back to their businesses and jobs.
Ocasio-Cortez’s warning comes as several states introduce the first phases of reopening after weeks of an economic standstill, leading to roughly 33.5 million jobless claims since the pandemic began.
While some progressive lawmakers, like Ocasio-Cortez, publicly lament the administration’s desire to reopen the country, local experts are adding perspective.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Steven Shapiro, who spoke at a roundtable discussion with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) on Wednesday, explained that the UPMC system, for example, never saw a coronavirus surge and described the virus as a “disease of the elderly, sick and poor.” The median age of coronavirus deaths in the state is 84, he added.
“COVID-19 is a disease that ravages those with preexisting conditions – whether it be immunosenescence of aging or the social determinants of health,” he stated, warning that “extended social isolation” could prove to be dire.
“One thing is certain: pandemics will be part of our future, and we must be better prepared. We can’t be put in a position to have to choose between death by pathogen or death by our economy,” Shapiro warned.