President Donald Trump’s handling of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic has scored him rising approval ratings among American voters.
Democrats, led by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., aren’t happy about that — and Waters took to social media on Monday to lash out at the White House.
Despite the best efforts of healthcare workers and local and federal government, the projections for the United States battle against the Wuhan virus remain grim: Even if the U.S. were to continue to do what it was doing, keeping the economy closed and most Americans in their homes, the coronavirus could leave 100,000 people dead and millions infected. The totals would be far worse if the nation reopened.
German “cancer diet” shrinks tumors to nothing? [Sponsored]
Those stark predictions grew even more tangible and harrowing when paired with televised images of body bags lined up at a New York City hospital not far from where Trump grew up in Queens.
The confluence of dire warnings and tragic images moved the Republican president off his hopes for an Easter rebirth for the nation’s economy, which he announced at a press conference Monday.
Waters jumped on the news and used it to attack the president —
Trump, so now you’re expanding the social distancing order? Another correction b/c of your ignorant hunches. You said we'd be safe by Easter! Experts always have to clean up after your "hunches." Keep your hunches 2 yourself & don’t waste experts' time correcting your stupidity!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) March 30, 2020
“We’re thinking that around Easter that’s going to be your spike. That’s going to be the highest point we think, and then it’s going to start coming down from there,” Trump explained Monday on “Fox & Friends.” “The worst that can happen is you do it too early and all of a sudden it comes back. That makes it more difficult.”
The bleak forecasts were carried into the Oval Office by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, who displayed to Trump projections that, on the low end, could yield 100,000 American deaths from COVID-19.
The ONLY Water You Should Drink If You’re 65+ [Sponsored]
One model showed that deaths could have soared past 2 million had there been no action by the White House.
“We showed him the data. He looked at the data. He got it right away. It was a pretty clear picture,” Fauci told CNN on Monday. “Dr. Debbie Birx and I went into the Oval Office and leaned over the desk and said, ‘Here are the data, take a look.’ He just shook his head and said, ‘I guess we got to do it.’”
The powerful images coming out of Trump’s home also moved the president to act further.
Over the weekend, the death count in New York City skyrocketed, the silence of the city’s empty streets shattered only by ambulance sirens. Makeshift medical tents were hastily erected in Central Park. And hospitals, including Elmhurst Medical Center in Queens, not far from Trump’s childhood home, were so overwhelmed that patients were lying in hallways and corpses stowed in refrigerated trucks.
“This is essentially in my community, in Queens, Queens, New York,” Trump said. “I’ve seen things that I’ve never seen before.”
Aides likened Trump’s emotional response to his reaction to the 2017 pictures of dead Syrian children that prompted him to give the order for the first air strike of his presidency. Trump also invoked some friends — he did not identify them — who he said are battling the virus.
“90-year-old mitochondria becoming 30-years-old” [Sponsored]
“I have some friends that are unbelievably sick,” he said Monday in a Rose Garden press conference. “We thought they were going in for a mild stay and in one case, he’s unconscious — in a coma.”
Trump’s decision to extend national guidelines to clamp down on activity left some of his more optimistic advisors disappointed.
In her social media response, Waters ignored that —
Trump, stop congratulating yourself! You’re a failure & you've mishandled this #COVID19 disaster! You're not knowledgeable & you don’t know more than experts & generals. Your ignorance & incompetence are appalling & you continue to demonstrate that every time you open your mouth!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) March 30, 2020
Trump announced during a Fox News appearance that he was swayed to lengthen the lockdown by arguments that the fiscal pain would be worse if the economy was reopened and then forced to be shut again.
Sponsored: Scientists: A “Salt” works better than top drug for diabetes
Like forecasts for a monster hurricane, the pandemic projection models can disagree with one another. But the coronavirus models all agree that this outbreak and its consequences are extremely serious.
Birx singled out one by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, suggesting it’s close to how government experts see things. That model predicts more than 84,000 total U.S. deaths through early August, with the highest number of daily deaths — an estimated 2,200 — occurring April 15.
That would be three days after Easter.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
The vast majority of people recover.
You don’t need to leave your house to get this [Sponsored]
The virus has caused a global pandemic that has sickened about 800,000 people and killed tens of thousands, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
RELATED: White House explains how to get your “Trump Check” faster
The Associated Press contributed to this article