House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Thursday that it’s unlikely that Congress will reconvene on April 20 as originally scheduled and warned Trump to not reopen the economy yet, saying that the coronavirus crisis “has taken an acceleration from when we started this. … Little did we know then that at this point, we’d be further confined.”
“Nobody can really tell you that and I would never venture a guess. I certainly don’t think we should do it sooner than we should,” Pelosi told Politico when asked about whether lawmakers would gather again to resume their business.
Pelosi says “no” to reopening
In a Politico interview that covered a wide range of subjects, Pelosi signaled an unwillingness to return to normal functioning at the soonest possible date, sniping at Trump’s eagerness to get the nation up and running once again.
Trump has turned the focus of his daily coronavirus briefings from the bleak prospect of hundreds of thousands of American deaths toward the improving projections that point to a much lower impact on the nation than originally predicted.
“Hopefully we’re going to be opening up …. very, very, very, very soon, I hope,” Trump said on Thursday. “We’re going to open up strong, very successfully and I’d like to say even more successfully than before.”
Trump’s eagerness to get the economy moving again is likely based on the skyrocketing unemployment claims and warnings from economists that social distancing measures could precipitate unemployment rates not seen since the great depression all the way through 2021.
Appeal to science
“I would hope that the scientific community would weigh in and say, ‘You can’t do this, it is only going to make matters worse if you go out too soon,’” Pelosi responded, and questioned the basis for Trump’s signaling that he’s working towards lifting social distancing guidelines.
Pelosi sniped that “we have to know” what factors the decision will be based on. “What is it? Is it testing so that we know what we’re dealing with? Is it some standard as to how someone else would be received into a workplace?”
“That’s something that I haven’t seen as the basis for any decision-making. In fact, I’ve seen the opposite,” Pelosi concluded, though by her own admission, she rarely watches the daily briefings in which the White House updates the nation on our progress in the battle against the virus.
“I don’t watch them. I sometimes see inadvertently or just by accident some of the news reporting on it, but I just don’t have time for that. I am a busy person. I have a day job, and it’s not to watch the president contradict himself on TV.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the foremost infectious disease expert in the nation spoke during Thursday’s daily presser about the possibility of reopening the economy, saying that lifting social distancing recommendation is “not going to be one size fits all” approach.
Fauci continued that re-opening the economy would look different for each area of the nation. “I would not want to pull back at all in New York until I was clear that that curve really was doing what we’ve seen in other countries — a very steep decline down,” Fauci said. Trump concurred, saying that infections have to be on the “downside of that slope” before he considers reopening the economy.