President Trump is starting to sound worried about the coronavirus.
During a White House press briefing on the pandemic, the president — who has faced criticism over what many believe to be his casual response to COVID-19 — said “this is a very bad one” because of its “sort of record-setting type contagion,” and he’s even discussed the severity of it with one of his sons.
Trump says he’s actually spoken with his son (didn’t say which one) about this, who has asked him “how bad is this,” and he has responded, “It’s bad. It’s bad.”
Very much a change in tone and substance from Trump so far today.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 16, 2020
He also sounded more pessimistic about the economy than usual, acknowledging that “it may be” heading toward a recession.
Trump also addressed a few other key questions during the briefing — such as why the House coronavirus bill exempts companies with 500 employees or more from the paid sick leave requirement, to which he replied the Senate may address changing that when they vote on the bill.
He also said he expects restrictions on daily life, like the government’s recommendation people limit gatherings to no more than 10 people, to be the “new normal” until July or August or even later, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stepped in to provide a little clarity that those specific guidelines will be reviewed after a 15 day trial. The July or August timeframe, he said, applies to the effects the virus may have on Americans more generally.
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