What to expect from the White House's coronavirus messaging this week
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The White House will try to push two main themes this week: "preparedness and confidence," per a senior official.
The big picture: President Trump's aides plan to hold several events to try to persuade the public that they're ready for a likely second wave of the virus this fall. In particular, they'll focus on testing capacity and access to personal protective equipment.
- "Testing messaging will reflect how much we've ramped up our testing to meet states' needs and feel confident about our testing capacity going into the fall," said one senior White House official.
- "The secondary message will be the American people can have confidence as they begin to go back out into the public square," the official added. "We will have governors in to highlight their safe reopen plans. We'll also highlight private-sector efforts to get the country to reopen safely."
- Governors expected to visit Trump at the White House this week include North Dakota's Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and Colorado's Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. (Politico's Playbook was first to report these coming visits.)
Between the lines: The Trump administration was slow to get testing up and running, and many parts of the country still lack the testing capacity that public health experts say is needed to safely reopen. But they've scaled up capacity substantially in recent weeks.
The bottom line: Trump and some of his top advisers have grown impatient with the shutdown. Americans are overwhelmingly reluctant about going back to ordinary life, and the Trump administration will try to persuade them it can be done safely.
- Yes, but: In many parts of the country, these fears are well-founded, and the virus' U.S. death toll is closing in on 80,000. And despite Trump's wishful musings that the virus will disappear on its own, public health experts say no end is in sight without a vaccine.