Political News

Al Gore rips Trump's response to coronavirus: 'I think we're seeing the start of a botched reopening'

Posted May 7, 2020 10:50 p.m. EDT

— Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday offered a grim assessment of the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, stating pointedly: "I think we're seeing the start of a botched reopening."

His comments come as researchers predict a higher death toll from coronavirus this summer than previously expected while more states plan phased reopenings of businesses and other gathering places. President Donald Trump in recent days has emphasized the need to quickly reopen the American economy despite public health officials' urgings for a more cautious approach.

"And now I think we're in grave danger," Gore told CNN's Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta during CNN's coronavirus global town hall.

"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. 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."

The President, Gore claimed, is "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."

A senior official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed to CNN that the Trump administration will not implement the CDC's 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America. And Trump himself publicly signaled last week that he was unlikely to sign off on guidelines that recommended a return to an altered way of life.

"I see the new normal being what it was three months ago. I think we want to go back to where it was," Trump said at a meeting with representatives from the restaurant and hospitality industries.

"I want to go back to where it was, that's where we're going to be," Trump said.

Gore, who recently endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President, said Thursday that moving forward, Trump needs to become "a watchman on the tower, looking for danger then responding to it."

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