There's a Major Problem With Trump's "Re-Open America" Task Force

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Monday, April 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

News broke on Monday that President Donald Trump was forming a task force to “re-open America,” or at the very least, its economy.

The top graphic going around showed Trump’s task force, and the crew is probably the most expected, yet most disappointing, task force one could imagine.

  • Mark Meadows
  • Ivanka Trump
  • Jared Kushner
  • Stephen Mnuchin
  • Larry Kudlow
  • Robert Lighthizer
  • Wilbur Ross

What is disappointing about this is that Trump’s biggest triumph in the COVID-19 fight has been his regional and hands-off approach to shutdowns. He has provided assistance to states where it was needed when they asked, and supported their shutdowns. His administration has also worked very closely with private companies to get supplies out to the front lines in the fight against the virus.

Constitutionally, he can’t order a nationwide shutdown, and leaving the key battles to local government and private companies is a good delegation tactic. He has been smart to listen to experts and listen to the needs and capabilities of the states and private companies.

And then, he turns around and creates an economic task force that doesn’t include any of them. No governors or delegates from hard-hit states, no represenatatives from private companies, no one outside of his administration. This is a big mistake. His biggest victory in this fight is one he wants to completely ignore, and that is not good.

Imagine getting governors or governors’ appointees, top companies who have a stake in all this (Walmart, Amazon, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.), top economists, and other experts to help come up with a plan that has a regional approach and works on developing a proper timeline for re-opening, rather than just aiming for re-opening as soon as possible. That’s how it should work, but we have no guarantee that’s how it will work. This entire task force is made up of Trump’s inner circle, and not necessarily great experts in the field of economics.

It’s got to be better, and it’s got to be re-shaped quick. We know our economy can’t take being shut down forever, but doing it the wrong way is just as dangerous. I don’t think this group will come up with the best plan, but rather the quickest.

I hope the President will re-think this and make some changes. There is time to do so… although, not much.