The Trump administration’s effort in fighting the coronavirus pandemic has declined that state and local health officials have chosen to draw up their own plans to fight increasing infections and wave uncertain signals that come from the White House.
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Reports have shown that the coronavirus pandemic is still claiming hundreds of American lives a day, a pace that, if not control over the next few coming months, would hit about 200,000 total dead by the end of September. Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas all reported their largest one-day increases in new cases this week.
Oklahoma recorded 259 new cases on Wednesday, a single-day record for the second day in a row, and only three days before Trump is scheduled to hold an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa in defiance of his administration’s guidelines for “phased reopening.”
Going for the rally at such a risky time is not the most amazing part of it all, but the fact that the Trump re-election campaign team is asking those who’re interested in going for the rally to sign a statement waiving their right to sue the campaign if they get sick after the exercise.
President Trump in an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday said the virus was “fading away,” as he has always said. More confusing is that while the president refuses to wear a mask, Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams has spent this week doing a round of television interviews to implore Americans to do so.
Vice President Mike Pence said in a Wall Street Journal opinion column this week that panic over a second wave was “overblown.” But Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top epidemiologist, said the United States was not in a second wave because it was still in the first one.
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Meanwhile, the governors of Michigan, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, and Vermont have in recent times extended their state of emergency orders, even as cases in some of the states have been flattened. Along with control over travel restrictions and business closures, emergency declarations provide a direct line to federal funding for disaster relief.