President Trump doesn’t appreciate it when people question his methods. That’s something CBS News reporter Paula Reid learned yesterday, after she pressed the President about his response to the COVID-19 crisis, and what the White House did with the time it “bought” after closing the borders to China.
First, he pushed back and played a campaign-style video. When Reid pressed further, Trump lashed back calling her “disgraceful.” Beyond that, more people were surprised to hear that the President believes he has “total” authority over the country...specifically, the reopening. “When somebody is president of the United States,” he noted. “Your authority is total.”
Either way, Anthony Fauci is defending the White House's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci told reporters President Trump has taken action on the mitigation advice he's been given by health experts. Clarifying comments he made the day before on CNN, (where he mentioned that starting mitigation efforts sooner obviously would have saved lives), Fauci described it as a poor choice of words.
As for the President’s claim that he has the sole authority about opening the country, a number of Constitutional experts including Dr. Kevin Gutzman disagree. The authority to require businesses to close in a public health crisis is what is a known as a "police power," and it is reserved by the Constitution to the states, not to the federal government. “He can't make a state discontinue its shutdown, nor can he make it continue one it wants to discontinue,” Gutzman notes. “Merely asserting that ‘there are lots of good reasons’ for the president to have such authority doesn't make it so.”
Where does the United States stand with COVID-19? At last check, there are more than 582-thousand cases across the United States – with just over 23-thousand patients succumbing to the illness – though more than 44-thousand have recovered. Globally, the numbers stand at just over 1.9-million people infected by the virus – with more than 119-thousand dead. On the plus side, more than 453-thousand have recovered. And in case you’re curious? Just over 2.9-million Americans have been tested.