After eight months and more than 220,000 lives lost, the Trump White House has settled on a new plan for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic: saving the most vulnerable, namely those in nursing homes, and hoping the rest can largely fend for themselves for the time being.
Multiple senior officials say the White House has worked for weeks to iron out what is, in essence, a triage approach to handling the coronavirus. It is a strategy that emphasizes providing more resources and funding to nursing homes battling COVID-19 outbreaks, while offering no new suggestions for containing the spread of the virus, save focusing on ensuring an effective vaccine distribution plan once one becomes available for the American public.
The triage strategy comes as states are struggling with an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations among all populations nationwide and with the possibility that flu season could make matters worse. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, has been on the road for the last several months working with local communities on how to manage community spread. But, outside of that, the White House does not plan to change course from its stance on reopening the economy and schools, no matter how bad the outbreak gets, multiple officials familiar with the White House’s communications told The Daily Beast.