Donald Trump's COVID-19 response has proven to be an unmitigated failure with fresh reporting rendering it ever worse by the day. Trump and the Senate Republicans who voted to keep him in charge to lead America to slaughter are as desperate as ever to lay the blame for Trump's debacle at someone else's feet. In rapid succession, they've pointed the fingers at Democrats, impeachment, governors, and are presently trashing the World Health Organization (WHO) because, they say, it failed to contain and isolate the coronavirus in China. In other words, Trump is particularly pissy because WHO didn't do his No. 1 job for him—protecting Americans. Never mind the fact that WHO actually doesn't have the authority or mandate to go into a country and take over a health response.
But even amid Republicans' orchestrated bid to pin the blame elsewhere for his past failures, Trump can't wait to reopen America for business, even if it comes at the expense of more American lives. So as Trump fixates on jumpstarting the economy again by May 1, his team of ghouls is working feverishly to get broad buy-in so Trump won't be stuck holding the body bag if coronavirus cases spike again, according to the Washington Post.
The question isn't really if or even when anymore, it's moved to how. “He desperately wants to reopen as much as possible on May 1,” one former official briefed on the matter told the Post. “He’s been that way from the beginning, and he has not wavered. He seems determined to do it."
So in order to build in a "shield" of shared responsibility in case Trump’s plan goes horribly wrong, the Post writes that Trump's advisers "are trying to mobilize business executives, economists and other prominent figures to buy into the eventual White House plan, so that if it does not work, the blame can be shared broadly." In other words, Trump's aides want to make sure Trump has scapegoats at the ready.
Just to be clear, the main driver of Trump's urgency to reopen isn't about easing the financial pain that so many Americans are experiencing right now. Trump's chief goal and obsession is goosing his own reelection bid. That's why lives are really no object to him. Trump has chosen May 1 as his target date because he's antsy, not because any public health officials have told him that's a reasonable timeframe to begin easing social distancing restrictions.
And if you're wondering what the rush is, many presidential strategists say that, generally speaking, voters' perceptions of the economy for the upcoming election are typically baked in by the end of the second quarter. If that holds true this cycle (and who really knows?), Trump would need the economy to start humming again in the next couple months since it's really the only reelection rationale he has provided to voters who aren't outright racists and white supremacists.
Anyway, the West Wing is trying to recruit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to provide a "national return to work plan," aka Operation Scapegoat. So expect to a see a huge push from the White House and conservative groups like FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation to get America back to work, or to "Save Our Country," as they have nicknamed the White House working group. Sounds just as foolproof as all Trump’s schemes.