White House pushing to reopen much of the U.S. next month

Behind closed doors, President Trump — concerned with the sagging economy — has sought a strategy for resuming business activity by May 1, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In phone calls with outside advisers, Trump has even floated trying to reopen much of the country before the end of this month, when the current federal recommendations to avoid social gatherings and work from home expire, the people said. Trump regularly looks at unemployment and stock market numbers, complaining that they are hurting his presidency and reelection prospects, the people said…

White House advisers have contemplated scenarios in which some “hot spot” states will not be ready to reopen as quickly, the people familiar with the matter said. There have already been vigorous debates, with public-health experts and some presidential advisers warning against reopening too soon, while key members of the president’s economic team — and some conservatives in the vice president’s orbit — push for a quicker return to normality.

Among those pushing to reopen the economy, according to senior administration officials, is Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff and a top adviser to Trump. Short has argued there will be fewer deaths than the models show and that the country has already overreacted, according to people with knowledge of his comments.

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