WASHINGTON — At the White House, when President Donald Trump jetted back to Washington on Monday after a weekend of golfing and fundraising in Florida, he was awaited with interference.
Officials of the administration, increasingly worried about the messaging and reaction to the coronavirus, spent the weekend trying to formulate a plan to change the reaction of the president, based on downplaying the danger and accusing the media of causing unnecessary alarm, according to the people involved in the effort.
But as Trump got off Marine One and shortly after 3 p.m. walked right into the West Wing. His top economic and health officials awaited Monday to argue why a more comprehensive fiscal and public health response was urgently needed. Economic advisor Larry Kudlow, Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were among those present at the conference.
Shortly after the meeting was wrapped up, Trump seemed ready to start taking a stronger approach — at least compared to the one he had given that morning when he likened coronavirus to seasonal flu, tweeting flu that “nothing is shut down, life & economy goes on.”