For long, President Donald Trump has been criticized for being overly optimistic about the coronavirus pandemic and continuously urging schools as well as businesses to reopen.

But as per recent data released by the White House coronavirus task force, it appears that his “positivity” was in stark contrast to increasingly dire reports about the pandemic spreading in July and August.

The state report, covering at least eight weeks in the last two months, compiled by the White House task force has been released by the House Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus. These reports are regularly released to respective state governors' offices by the task force, which had previously refused to publish them publicly.

"Rather than being straight with the American people and creating a national plan to fix the problem, the President and his enablers kept these alarming reports private while publicly downplaying the threat to millions of Americans," said subcommittee Chairman James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, in a statement.

The latest report in the published data is a 459-page August 9 report containing extensive data on the status of cases in particular states and recommendations on how the government should slow the spread. The report had cautioned state and local authorities to continue promoting social distancing, wearing face masks, establishing contact tracing, and closing down bars and nightclubs in areas that are included in the "red zone."

The “red zone” indicates places against a 100,000 population there are more than 100 new cases and/or test positivity is above 10%.

The same day the report was released Trump had tweeted that “much of our country is doing very well” and urged to “open the schools!” But as per the task force’s report, there were 20 states that were in the “red zone” that day, with just Maine and Vermont in the clear.

"If you look at some of the states that had a flare-up recently, they're all doing very well. Florida is going down rapidly. I want to give a lot of credit to the governors. Florida is going down, and Arizona is going down, way down. They've done a fantastic job," Trump said during a coronavirus briefing just a few days later. "Many locations are really in fantastic shape, some with very little, if any, problem. Large portions of the United States,” he added.

But the Aug. 9 report recommended that Florida and Arizona, which were in the "red zone," should "consider a statewide mask mandate for counties with 50 or more active cases.” The report also recommended that the state authorities should "ensure messaging to all citizens to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people even within families," and "expand testing capacity in public health labs... to reduce turnaround times."

Meanwhile, the White House is not happy with the subcommittee's decision to make the reports public.

"In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, some members of Congress have chosen to irresponsibly issue a partisan report completely for the purpose of falsely distorting the President's record to protect the health and safety of the American people and save millions of lives," said deputy press secretary Judd Deere in a statement.

Donald Trump sparked outrage after allegedly saying during a DACA meeting, that Haitians, Africans, and Salvadorans are immigrants from "crappy" countries, adding that he want's them out and prefer immigrants from Norway. He later took to Twitter to deny the racist comments. Photo: Getty Images

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.