Fox Business Network correspondent Charles Gasparino appeared remotely on host Neil Cavuto’s show on Monday to warn President Donald Trump against easing up on social distancing recommendations, as he has indicated he might do this week.
Gasparino began by flattering the Trump administration’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic before pivoting to the bad news.
“The bad part obviously is that the market doesn’t know how to price in the unknown, just how many people get sick on this,” he said. “And one other thing,” Gasparino continued. “The Trump administration pats itself on the back about banning the China flights in January.” He made sure to add that he thinks that was a “reasonable thing to do” and in no way “xenophobic.”
“But I will say this: That is having not a lot of impact on what’s going on right now,” he said. “The virus was probably already here in January.”
Gasparino argued that the Trump administration’s social-distancing policies should have started two months ago.
“And that’s the problem with the Trump administration playing this down for as long as it did,” he added. “It prevented the appropriate social distancing policy response, and now it’s going to pay a price.”
Alluding to comments from Trump and members of his economic team, Gasparino rejected the idea that “we have to choose” between preventing the spread of the virus or “stopping the economy in its tracks.”
The “problem with stopping the social distancing,” he explained, is that “it’s the hospital systems that probably can’t take the flood of patients” who will be needing care if proper action isn’t taken.
“They haven’t been prepared because, essentially, central government was downplaying it for so long,” Gasparino added.
Cavuto, meanwhile, said it is “way too early to judge” whether the current approach of limiting Americans’ ability to congregate in public is “too much” or “too little” or whether President Trump should have taken more decisive action earlier on.
“It won’t do much good right now,” he said.