Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Trump comes clean, to some extent, in addressing the nation on citizen responsibilities

Here is President Trump’s 10-minute address from the White House at 9 PM EDT tonight on the Covid-19 outbreak.
Trump mentioned that it originated in China, a putatively hostile Communist foreign country, and the point of such mention is that in a sense it could be viewed as a wartime situation if this burdens American civilians, or if some of the measures seem unreasonable.

The president said that most travel to and from Europe will be halted for 30 days from March 13,  but not including the UK.  The latest is that it does not include goods, and it does not apply to US citizens.

The president asked seniors and people with compromised immune systems to stay away from crowds but did not propose any formal mechanism of enforcement.  But the reason would be that a senior is more likely to need ICU support of infected, so this is an indirect conceptual strategy to “flatten the curve”.

The president does want to prove income stipends for quarantined persons, mandate paid sick leave, full insurance coverage, and small business loans for businesses closed during the outbreak (which would likely include bars and discos).
Trump spoke in a monotone and did not look well himself.  Jared Kuschner wrote the speech.
Trump did not directly address the need of companies and government to telecommute.
Update:  The Washington Post annotates the speech with a lot of constructive criticism. 

CNN also annotates.

One more thing:  He did not declare a national emergency (a possibly provocative step) to release the use of certain FEMA funds.  I was expecting him to do so. 

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