Al Gore on Trump coronavirus response: ‘Seeing the start of a botched reopening’

Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday blasted President Trump’s ongoing coronavirus pandemic response, warning that he believes the United States is in danger as states across the country begin to loosen restrictions.

“I think we’re in grave danger,” Gore said while speaking to Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta in an appearance on CNN.

“I have to tell you both: I think that we are seeing the start of a botched reopening. I think that the president appears to be engaging in magical thinking again. And what I mean by that is, you know, a couple of months ago he said one day it’s just going to magically disappear,” Gore added, referencing the multiple times Trump claimed that the virus would “go away” or disappear earlier this year.

“It seems as if he may be recklessly rolling the dice hoping that he can goose the economy just enough in the third quarter of this year to enhance his reelection prospects, hoping that he can divert the blame for the extra tens of thousands of Americans who the doctors tell us will die as a result of this and blame it on the Chinese or former President Obama or whoever instead of doing what a president needs to do,” Gore continued. 

Figures from a model from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that American deaths will grow on a daily basis to 3,000 by the beginning of June, weeks after states across the country have started to reopen their economies despite the ongoing pandemic. More than half the states in the U.S. have now lifted some restrictions that were put in place to stem the spread of the virus.

Gore said Trump has “failed as a president, particularly on this challenge.”

“The warnings were ignored. I spent eight years starting every single day with a lengthy report from the intelligence committee, and there were very few occasions where there was a stark warning about grave danger to the country, and whenever there was such an occasion, we stopped and said, hold the show here. Get the FBI. Get the CIA. Get whoever was involved over. We need to learn about this,” Gore told CNN, also accusing the president of failing to mobilize critical resources throughout the country ranging from gowns and masks to coronavirus testing reagents. 

“I see what he is doing, and it’s the complete opposite of what the United States of America needs in the presidency right now,” Gore said.

The White House reportedly shelved an extensive report by the CDC meant to provide local officials with instructions for reopening public spaces amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Associated Press. The 17-page document was set to be published last week, but researchers were told it “would never see the light of day.”

Vice President Pence on Thursday said “we are very confident governors are moving in a responsible way” and that “we’re seeing great progress across the country” when asked about states that have started reopening but have not met the White House’s guidelines for declining cases to move to an initial reopening phase.

Tags Al Gore CNN Coronavirus Donald Trump economy reopening

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