President Trump on Wednesday claimed coronavirus “may not come back at all,” after his own public health experts have told the country to be prepared for another wave of the virus in the fall.
And if it does come back, he claimed, it “will be coming back in smaller doses that we can contain.” Mr. Trump made the remarks during the Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House on Wednesday.
The president’s public health experts have said otherwise. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a March briefing, said during a March briefing that he’s always indicated that the virus “very well might be” a seasonal, cyclical thing, and the country should be ready.
The president also took a moment to express his disagreement with Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who is reopening a number of non-essential businesses, like hair salons, bowling allies and tattoo parlors. Mr. Trump said he told Kemp as much, expressing that he “strongly disagrees” with the move to open up those businesses so quickly. Georgia has not yet met the administration’s own recommendations for beginning to reopen businesses.
“I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia, they’re incredible people. I love those people, they’re great. They’ve been strong, resolute. But at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right. But I disagree with him on what he’s doing.”
After weeks of intense negotiations between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, the Senate on Tuesdaya $484 billion relief package that will replenish the quickly-depleted loan program for small businesses ailing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure, which also includes $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing, now heads to the House, which is set to vote on the package Thursday.
How to watch the Coronavirus Task Force briefing today
House leaders have asked any member who is able to return to Washington for a meeting Thursday, during which they will also consider a change in House rules to allow for voting by proxy.
President Trump had urged Congress to pass the emergency measure and said discussions on a phase 4 legislative package would begin after he signed the legislation into law.
The president has alsoabout his executive action, which he announced Monday night, halting immigration into the U.S. because of the coronavirus crisis. Mr. Trump told reporters Tuesday his directive will suspend the processing of certain visas for 60 days.