By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Winston Churchill has been widely credited with saving Britain during the early days of World War II from a Nazi Germany aerial assault that nearly leveled the island nation.
Now, 80 years later, President Donald Trump’s former leading economic adviser says his old boss faces a similar moment in history.
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“Let’s face it, this is his Churchillian moment,” said Fox News contributor and Heritage Foundation distinguished visiting fellow Stephen Moore, in offering his vision for the challenge COVID-19 presents the president.
“He has to step up,” Moore continued on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive” on Monday. “He’s going to be judged by voters over what he does over the next six weeks and how he deals with this crisis.
“I think it’s time for big, bold steps in terms of… calling up the reserves, the military, whatever it takes to make sure we have the screening and the testing and all of the things that are necessary to contain this in a big way because he has to step up right now and be the president, the commander-in-chief,” said Moore.
On Monday, Trump issued a set of guidelines that include:
— Closure of bars, restaurants, and even schools
— Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people
— Stay away from nursing homes
— Standard anti-viral hygiene practices like washing hands
But on Tuesday, White House Coronavirus Response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that all states should interpret White House guidelines pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak as “rules” Fox News reported separately.
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that Trump has directed the task force he leads to examine ways the Pentagon can expand the capacity of the civilian healthcare system in response to the virus if need be.
“There’s two lanes that DOD can provide, in addition to the many medical supplies, to augment our national reserves,” said the vice president. “The president has tasked us to evaluate and make available and to consider every request from governors, for either field hospitals, expanding facilities or the Army Corps of Engineers who could retrofit existing buildings.”
Others believe that coronavirus is going to be a defining moment for Trump.
“I think that this is going to prove to be President Trump’s finest hour because he is facing this challenge head-on,” added Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
“I think that getting advice from all of the different players and then making a confident decision is why our founders had a commander-in-chief that had the authority, but the limited authority that a president does.
“They put that in the hands of a citizen because they understood that someone like President Trump, who has taken advantage of the American experiment, would be in the best hands for America,” she concluded.
We’ll see. Meantime, CNN reported that the president is considering quarantine zones.
“At this point, not nationwide, but … we may look at certain areas, certain hotspots, as they call them. We’ll be looking at that,” Trump said during a White House press briefing.
And a national curfew? “We haven’t really determined to do that at all and hopefully we won’t have to,” he said. “That’s a very big step. It’s a step we can take, but we have not decided to do it,” he added.
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American workers who have been furloughed or are about to be, even as some grocery supply chain issues have already begun, aren’t so sure the response thus far hasn’t been a bit much, given the low casualty rate in the U.S. and the fact that no one has really explained why COVID-19 is so much more dangerous than previous outbreaks of Swine flu, which infected 60 million and killed 18,000 people.
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