(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — With members of the coronavirus task force cautioning of dark days ahead, with the surgeon general comparing the oncoming week to Pearl Harbor, President Donald Trump broke from the somber messaging and offered an optimistic forecast on Monday.
Tweeting Monday, “Light at the end of the tunnel,” the president clarified that “the cure can’t be worse than the problem itself.”
However, the president’s message clashes with the nation’s leading experts and doctors, who cautioned the nation against going outdoors, even to run to the grocery store or pharmacy unless absolutely necessary.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious disease and a key member of the coronavirus task force, has predicted that getting “back to normal” will happen, but it rides on developing an effective vaccine that “can completely protect the population.”
Pivoting off Fauci’s remarks, President Trump said that seeing things go back to normal is a possibility in the economy. “I think when you add that to it, I think we can get more than back to normal from an economic standpoint. Actually be better. But more than back to normal,” he said.
On the prospect of a vaccine, the president again pushed hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, to treat COVID-19 — a treatment that Fauci remains skeptical of.
President Trump highlighted the potential treatment during his Sunday briefing, saying it is worth pursuing this potential treatment. He also seemingly blocked Dr. Fauci from answering a question about it.
The president’s top trade adviser turned Defense Production Act policy coordinator Peter Navarro also supported exploring the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.
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