Illustration for article titled Trump Administration Urges Country to Go Back to Normal After Doubling Projected Death Toll
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On Wednesday, April 29, Zorak impersonator Jared Kushner claimed that the country would be “back to normal” by June, even as armed shut-down protests and the pandemic ravaged the country. On Fox and Friends, he boldly declared: “I think you’ll see by June that a lot of the country should be back to normal, and the hope is that by July the country’s really rocking again.” A strange declaration, really, considering internal documents from the administration project an increase in covid-19 cases during the summer, anticipating almost 3000 daily deaths in June, and 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month.

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The New York Times reports that a Trump administration document projects the current daily death rate from coronavirus will double by the first week in June, a number that should be a reality check for the administration’s success at controlling the pandemic. According to the Times:

The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways as the health care system grew overloaded.

These numbers are aided along by states like Georgia and Texas lifting their shutdown orders last week. (Health organizations now report that the number of confirmed cases in Georgia has risen since the reopening.) Regardless of the facts, Trump continues to stoke the fears of conspiracy theorists to rally against the state0wude shutdown orders. In Michigan last Thursday, protesters clearly influenced by his comments stormed the state’s House of Representatives, armed and telling reporters that the virus was fake and that the shutdown endangered their rights as free citizens. Now, states like California initially touted for their seemingly proactive responses to the pandemic, are also planning on opening up as early as this Friday.

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Meanwhile, reporting by ProPublica and MotherJones chronicles the racial disparities of the epidemic; black Americans have contracted, and subsequently died from, the coronavirus at a staggering rate.

Two weeks ago, Trump claimed that the coronavirus death toll in America would be, at most, 100,000. It’s a number recited by protestors decrying the shutdown, who incorrectly compare the figure to the average flu casualties each year. As the New York Times points out, however, the administration’s new forecast projects that 100,000 will be the death toll by the end of the month. “Back to normal” indeed.

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