Inside Donald Trump and Jared Kushner's Two Months of Magical Thinking - 2020-04-28
On the afternoon of Thursday, March 19, Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office obsessing over the beaches in Florida. CNN footage of shirtless spring breakers packed onto the sand while the coronavirus pandemic raged sparked national outrage—and pressure on Trump to act. The next morning, New York governor Andrew Cuomo would announce strict stay-at-home orders for residents, but Florida's Republican governor Ron DeSantis refused to close his state's beaches, a position even Florida's Republican senator Rick Scott called reckless. "Lots of people were telling Trump to lean on Ron," a Trump adviser said.
Trump's view of the situation was complicated, though. For weeks, his top medical advisers, Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, had been hectoring him about the seriousness of the crisis and the necessity of swift action, testing, lockdowns. "We knew from the beginning...we were going to get cases in the United States," Fauci told me.
"We knew we were in for a very serious problem."