This Weekend’s Heated Debate — When the Lockdown Ends
Author: Greg Valliere
March 27, 2020
THIS MEMORABLE WEEK will close with House approval of the massive stimulus bill, although how and when that vote comes is unclear this morning. House voting rules are arcane relics, an issue to deal with later. The bill definitely will pass today or tomorrow, and Washington will move on to other issues.
FAR ECLIPSING POLICY DISPUTES THIS WEEKEND will be the relentless advance of the virus; the nightmare in New York City will be repeated in New Orleans and, perhaps, Chicago and Detroit. Hospitals are not equipped to handle this humanitarian crisis, and that will be the dominant story this weekend.
THE SUNDAY TALK SHOWS undoubtedly will focus on when the lockdown begins to end, as tension grows between Donald Trump and the scientists. For now, the latter group has the upper hand; Dr. Anthony Fauci’s mantra is “only the virus can set the timeline” for reopening the country.
TRUMP WANTS PART OF THE COUNTRY — where infections are relatively modest — to open for business, with able-bodied young people leading the way. But there’s a problem with his goal — state and local governments will make the decisions on when to re-open, not Trump. The idea that, say, California will ease its restrictions by Easter is ludicrous.
IN AN ASTONISHING ALLEGATION ON THURSDAY, Trump said the media is rooting for a long lockdown because it would cripple the economy and potentially lead to his election defeat. Actually, he has two enormous obstacles to quickly opening up the country: governors and scientists. Even if Trump loses this battle, he will have foils to blame if the shutdown lasts into May or longer.
THE LIST OF TRUMP ANTAGONISTS does not appear to include the Democrats’ presidential nominee. Joe Biden has been remarkably invisible, apparently content to run out the clock until the Democrats’ convention, which may or may not be held in Milwaukee on July 13-16.
BERNIE SANDERS, sensing Biden’s weakness, sees an opening for his socialist agenda and will not drop out — but Sanders will not be the nominee. The party’s establishment hates Sanders, and the feeling is mutual.
THE DEMOCRATS’ STARS, capable of giving Trump a serious challenge this fall, are Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom — and we hear from Democrats around the country who are asking: is there any chance Biden’s delegates could shift en masse to one of the two governors? The answer is probably no — but not definitely no.
THIS WILL BE A DIFFICULT WEEKEND, as fatalities surge and the country stays indoors, trying to sort out mixed messages on when life can return to normal. We wish all of you and your families good health.
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