If this was a properly functioning administration, recommendations on the path forward would be provided by two groups: the health experts and the economists. We wouldn’t see those recommendations. Instead, the two groups would sit in the White House and hammer out a middle road that protects both health and the economy, with both making compromises to the other side.
And THEN we would see the jointly issued set of recommendations ONLY, with both doctors and economists in the press conference, together expressing confidence in the plan. (This is the “PR” portion of governance; you show the citizens only the finished product at the end, not the sausage-making that went into creating that finished product.)
But, this isn’t a properly functioning administration, and doesn’t do PR. You get to see the entire ugly process from start to finish. Without experienced supervision to say “Go into that room and don’t come out until it’s done”, the economists and the health experts both “release” their competing recommendations through their own channels, creating a tribal war over the path forward, leaving the governors to craft their own “compromised plan” for their own states.
How we got to this dysfunction goes back a lot farther than Trump, although the fact that Trump is not only “not a politician” but “never the head of a professionally run business” plays into it.
I remember “back in the day” when the parties were much more polite to one another; the usual thought in the 70’s was more along the lines of “We disagree with our friends across the aisle, but we all want what is best for America.” And the media did their level best to provide the thoughts of both parties in a reasonably un-embellished way, although there were some early exceptions to that rule, usually around the abortion issue.
That’s changed, obviously. The adherents of party A are now convinced that party B is out to destroy America, and vice versa; nor is the media trusted to provide a fair accounting of the positions of both “sides”. The media has been conflating journalism with punditry for some time now, leading to this; and quick look around the world demonstrates that when the media is not trusted, conspiracy theories take root and grow like weeds. (Which is how you get people in a developed nation like the UK, who also suffer from the same media diseases, destroying 5G towers and we here in the USA putting Bill Gates into the center of other conspiracies. )
That’s where we are today, and because of it, we can’t coordinate a plan on a response. Party A doesn’t trust Trump to do it; if this was five years ago, Party B wouldn’t trust Obama to do it; and if this was 15 years ago, it would be Bush that Party A wouldn’t be trusting.
And November changes nothing, because we’ll still have half of America believing that the President, whoever he is, is out to destroy the nation.
Great situation we have here.