News & Politics

Administration Will Change Pandemic Messaging: 'We Have to Learn to Live With It'

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The administration is preparing a major change in messaging that — instead of reassuring Americans the coronavirus will disappear — we will all have to “learn to live with it.”

The president’s advisors have reached this conclusion after steadily rising numbers of positive tests for the virus were seen in almost all states and hospital admissions were becoming worrisome in others. Some governors have paused or rolled back their reopening plans.

The White House will accompany this message change with facts and much hope for the future, The Hill reported.

Promoting pharmaceuticals and current treatments for the virus will reportedly be emphasized as part of the White House strategy.

“The virus is with us, but we need to live with it,” an official told NBC [News].

More frequent coronavirus task force briefings are reportedly also part of the administration’s plans, with more meetings starting this week in response to climbing cases of the virus nationwide.

Trump has been previewing this new message for a while. While insisting recently that the coronavirus will just “disappear,” the president has been increasingly resigned to the fact that the virus is something we’re going to have to live with.

NBC News:

“We have to get back to business. We have to get back to living our lives. Can’t do this any longer,” Trump said in an interview with Axios last month before his campaign rally in Tulsa, where almost no one socially distanced and few wore masks. “And I do believe it’s safe. I do believe it’s very safe.” A number of Trump’s own campaign staffers and Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 in Tulsa.

White House and campaign advisors will look to make a virtue out of necessity by framing the issue as managing the pandemic rather than defeating it.

Next week administration officials plan to promote a new study they say shows promising results on therapeutics, the officials said. They wouldn’t describe the study in any further detail because, they said, its disclosure would be “market-moving.”

Officials also plan to emphasize high survival rates, particularly for Americans who are within certain age groups and don’t have underlying conditions. The overall death rate from COVID-19 in the U.S. has been on the decline. More than 130,000 Americans have died of the virus.

The number of dead could be much higher or much lower — no one really knows, which could be the name of the book on the coronavirus.

What we do know is that even with high infection rates, we as a society must continue to function. It’s not heartless to tell people that they should get back to work while taking all the precautions they feel they have to in order to minimize their chances of becoming ill. That’s reality.

If Joe Biden were to be elected, he’s not going to come into office and close everything down again. If he did, the U.S. economy would become a smoking ruin. Biden will continue the policy of reopening with precautions for those who think they need them.

Biden will try to exploit this new messaging, calling it a “flip flop” and saying it’s cruel and heartless for Trump to keep the economy open while people are getting sick. But Trump is right in this instance and Biden is wrong. The nation must continue to move forward and Biden and the Democrats want to hold it back.

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