KEY POINTS

  • Trump on Tuesday floated his idea to ease-off restrictions that have closed businesses in the country
  • He wants to get the country to "return to business" by Easter
  • Trump believes those who oppose this view wants to ruin his chances of reelection

The self-confessed wartime president in the war against COVID-19 continues to hammer his domestic foes -- especially the mainstream media (MSM) -- despite the imperative to unite the country behind his leadership in this time of national crisis.

On Wednesday, president Donald Trump renewed his feud against the non-conservative media (which he still refers to as fake news) and Democrats by alleging they oppose his idea of reopening businesses by Easter Sunday because they want the economy to fail and hurt his re-election bid.

Trump was reacting to the universally unfavorable reactions by health professionals and on both sides of the political aisle about his idea to ease federal guidelines on social distancing. Trump wants the U.S. to "return to business" by Easter Sunday on April 12 despite the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread and worsen.

The day before, Trump revealed his stunning idea of wanting businesses in large parts of the country to reopen by Easter. This idea defies the scientific advice of U.S. health experts that assert people must continue isolating and social distancing for several more months to take the steam out of the outbreak. Some health experts predict many states might hit peak COVID-19 cases in May, or several weeks after Easter.

During the Wednesday briefing, CBS News reporter Paula Reid asked Trump if his Easter timeline is linked to his political interests. An angry Trump let loose a rant, saying:

"The media would like to see me do poorly in the election," the President said.

"I think there are certain people who would like it not to open so quickly. There are certain people who would like [the economy] to do poorly because that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls. I don't know if that's so, but I think there are people in your profession that would like that to happen. I think it's very clear."

He went on with saying, "I think it's very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do. She does. There are people in your profession that write fake news. They would love to see me, for whatever reason -- because we've done one hell of a job. Nobody's done the job that we've done. And it's lucky that you have this group here right here for this problem, or you wouldn't even have a country left. Okay?"

US President Donald Trump is overseeing a massive federal response to the coronavirus crisis, but opposition Democrats warn it is not enough US President Donald Trump is overseeing a massive federal response to the coronavirus crisis, but opposition Democrats warn it is not enough Photo: AFP / JIM WATSON

He then continued his rant on Twitter, saying, "The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP.  We will be stronger than ever before!"

Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University, said there isn’t enough testing being done in the U.S. to know how many people have been infected. This makes any plan to keep infection hot spots locked down impossible, he told BuzzFeed News.

“If you just lock down (those) who have clinical symptoms, it's not going to do a damn thing. For god’s sake, do people really not have any patience in this country? It was finite in China. It will be finite here.”

Critics contend Trump's desire to re-open businesses is being driven more by his need to resurrect U.S. economic growth and enhance his re-election chances. Trump's tweet confirmed this observation as did his subsequent actions at the White House press briefing Wednesday.