CBS Insists Trump, GOP More Interested Saving Econ. Than Lives

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Devoid of any responsibility for the wellbeing and livelihoods of the American populous, the CBS Evening News spent two consecutive nights chiding President Trump’s urging for parts of the country to eventually reopen, and get the millions of unemployed and hurting Americans back to work. According to them, the Republican Party was more interested in saving the economy than saving lives.

On Wednesday, anchor Norah O’Donnell began the segment regarding the coming reopening guidelines by noting Trump’s announcement would come “even as the mayor right here in D.C., the nation’s capital, extended her stay-at-home order to May 15.” Of course, the president had no authority over the functions of the district, it’s its own city.

Correspondent Ben Tracy took on a condescending tone when he reported that “the President has not said which states he thinks can safely reopen.” And he scoffed at the idea that Trump “will defer to his health experts on this” because “it’s clear he made up his mind it’s time to get at least some of the country back open for business.

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As if it was a sign that Trump was being reckless, Tracy noted that he admitted the reopenings might have to get rolled back:

TRACY: He admits his rush to reopen could backfire if infections spike.

TRUMP: We’ll have to do something that very serious. We’ll have too maybe close them up and start all over again.

Then, using a soundbite from one freshman congressman, Tracy declared that it was the growing Republican Party position not to care about saving lives and keeping people safe. “The President is feeling pressure to get the economy back on track. Retail sales plunged a record 8.7 percent in March, and some Republican lawmakers now say saving the economy is more important than saving lives,” he claimed.

 

 

Fast forward to Thursday evening, after Trump had rolled out his plan to reopen the country in phases, the CBS Evening News and Tracy were still complaining.

“Moments ago President Trump released his new guidelines for reopening America. It is 18 pages long but does not include details that governors have asked for, like how to ramp up testing or expand contact tracing. Ben Tracy is at the White House tonight. And Ben, so what do these guidelines say,” O’Donnell huffed.

Despite walking O’Donnell through phase one, Tracy began the video portion of his report by chiding the plan. “Several governors are extending their stay-at-home orders, but President Trump is pushing ahead with his plan to reopen the country,” he whined. He completely ignored how Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) was looking to begin reopening his state before May 1 (that answered his Wednesday criticism of Trump).

Tracy did note that there was growing backlash to the stat-at-home orders around the country and the independent mayor of Las Vegas who calling it “total insanity.” But that didn’t stop him from suggesting the President didn’t care about the wellbeing of Americans.

Citing an unnamed source from Trump’s phone call with governors, Tracy claimed: “[T]he President seemed more concerned about businesses, protecting them, getting them open, than making sure that states have this crucial testing in place.”

It’s easy for journalists to deride the President’s calls to reopen the economy when they can report safely from home and not lose their jobs.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

CBS Evening News
April 15, 2020
6:36:58 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Moments ago, President Trump said he will announce new guidelines tomorrow that aim to reopen the economy. He’s pushing to do it before the end of this month, even as the mayor right here in D.C., the nation’s capital, extended her stay-at-home order to May 15. Ben Tracy is at the White House tonight. And, Ben what, did we hear from the President?

BEN TRACY: Norah, the President has not said which states he thinks can safely reopen. He has said he will defer to his health experts on this, but it’s clear he made up his mind it’s time to get at least some of the country back open for business.

[Cuts to video]

The President says as many as 29 states could open before May 1, ahead of when the current White House social distance guidelines end.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’ll be opening up states, some states much sooner than others. [Transition] Governors are looking forward. They’re chomping at the bit.

TRACY: He admits his rush to reopen could backfire if infections spike.

TRUMP: We’ll have to do something that very serious. We’ll have too maybe close them up and start all over again.

TRACY: The President is feeling pressure to get the economy back on track. Retail sales plunged a record 8.7 percent in March, and some Republican lawmakers now say saving the economy is more important than saving lives.

REP. TREY HOLLINGSWORTH (R-IN): It is policymakers’ decision to say, “This is the lesser of these two evils, and it is not zero evil, but it is the lesser of these evils.”

(…)

 

CBS Evening News
April 16, 2020
6:35:29 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Moments ago President Trump released his new guidelines for reopening America. It is 18 pages long but does not include details that governors have asked for, like how to ramp up testing or expand contact tracing. Ben Tracy is at the White House tonight. And Ben, so what do these guidelines say?

BEN TRACY: Well, Norah, the President has gone from claiming absolute authority to telling governors on a phone call today that “You’re going to call your own shots.” Now, these new guidelines are just advice, but they basically say before a state can think about reopening, it needs to be on the downslope of coronavirus cases. It needs to be able to test its healthcare workers, and its hospitals cannot be in crisis mode.

[Cuts to video]

Several governors are extending their stay-at-home orders, but President Trump is pushing ahead with his plan to reopen the country.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re opening up our country. And we have to do that. America wants to be open.

TRACY: In states that enter what the President’s guidelines call “phase one,” the vulnerable still stay at home, people should avoid groups of more than ten and minimize non-essential travel, schools and bars remain closed. Restaurants, churches, and gyms can reopen with strict physical distancing protocols. Employers are told to encourage telework and return employees in phases. Only once a state does not see a rebound of infections should schools reopen in phase two.

Backlash to stay-at-home orders is building as a staggering number of Americans, 22 million, have now filed for unemployment in just the past four weeks. In Nevada, the coronavirus outbreak has spread an eerie silence over the Las Vegas strip for nearly a month. Mayor Carolyn Goodman calls the continued shutdown total insanity.

CAROLYN GOODMAN (I): We’re ready to reopen right today. [Transition] We had 300,000 that filed for unemployment when there are probably 900,000 out of work.

TRACY: But the country still lacks a widespread and reliable system of testing and tracking, and the President’s guidelines leave that to the states. Business leaders have told President Trump that’s essential before Americans will feel safe returning to work and stores. And the President’s own health experts say Americans still need to keep their distance.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX: To all of you that are out there that would like to join together and just have that dinner party for 20, don’t do it yet.

[Cuts back to live]

TRACY: Now, a source on that call with the President today says that the President seemed more concerned about businesses, protecting them, getting them open, than making sure that states have this crucial testing in place. Norah.

O’DONNELL: All right, Ben, thank you.

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