The White House is sending a clear message. While they get tested daily for COVID-19 and take the precautionary measurements, they expect the majority of the country to go back to work without having the same luxury.
On Sunday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CBS News’ Face the Nation that he is scared to go to work after three different White House staffers contracted the virus. But he said it’s okay because the White House has “the best medical staff on Earth.
“Companies and employers need to know what to do to safely re-open. The White House is testing staff regularly. Is that what you’re advising America’s businesses to do? When will the CDC release specific guidance?” CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Hassett Sunday.
“You know, I’m not a doctor. I’m just an economist, and I … But I think that right now we have bought some time with all the money that we’ve thrown at the economy and we’ve been using the time to do things like develop treatments, improve our treatments, learn more about social distancing and so on.”
When asked if he personally wears a mask — something both Trump and Pence have previously declined to do in public — Hassett relayed his health concerns about the White House staff.
“You know, I’ve got a mask right here. And the fact is that I practice aggressive social distancing,” the economic adviser said. “I’ll wear a mask when I feel it’s necessary. It is scary to go to work. You know, I was not part of the White House in March. I think that I’d be a lot safer if I was sitting at home than I would be going to the West Wing. But, you know, it’s the time when people have to step up and serve their country.”
“And so the interesting, sad thing about my dear colleague who was stricken with the coronavirus this week is that we were getting tested because we’re close to the president every day. And even with that, you know, she tested negative one day and then positive the next day. And she’s going to work at a community where people are being tested. And so this is a very, very scary virus,” he added.
WATCH: "It is scary to go to work," @WhiteHouse Economic adviser Kevin Hassett tells @margbrennan. This week a White House staffer and an aide to @VP Pence tested positive for #coronavirushttps://t.co/meIIhwUVYj
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 10, 2020
Yes, this virus is a scary thing. And yet, the White House is in a hurry to get everybody back to work. Not everyone in America has the luxury or the capability to get tested. Trump has been advised by medical professionals against opening up too soon. But their main priority is making money, not saving lives.