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Odds Trump Institutes a Nationwide Mandatory Quarantine Set at -135

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in Politics News

Updated Apr 23, 2020 · 12:04 PM PDT

Donald Trump signing things
Odds of Donald Trump imposing a national quarantine are a short -135. Photo by The White House (flickr).
  • The odds slightly favor the US federal government instituting a nationwide mandatory quarantine
  • President Trump told Fox News Tuesday that he’d “love to have [the United States] open by Easter” in a virtual town hall
  • At least 22 states have implemented, or announced, statewide closures of non-essential businesses

Odds of the United States federal government, otherwise known as Donald Trump, instituting a nationwide mandatory quarantine have been set at -135. Odds against such measures are -105.

President Trump — the only person who can make such a call — told Fox News Tuesday he’d “love to have [the United States] open by Easter” in a virtual town hall.

Trump received immediate pushback from the proclamation by medical advisers and even Vice President Mike Pence. Meanwhile, at least 22 states have imposed “Stay at Home” policies in efforts to suppress spread of the contagion and “flatten the curve.”

Odds the U.S. Institutes a Nationwide Mandatory Quarantine

Prop Odds
Yes -135
No -105

Odds taken March 24th.

With the coronavirus forcing roughly half of the U.S. population to quarantine and maintain strict social distancing guidelines, life as we knew it less than just two weeks ago seems like a distant memory.

The economy has tanked, with the Dow Jones Industrial average dropping nearly 30-percent of what it was a month ago. This, despite the S&P 500’s biggest one-day turnaround Tuesday in a dozen years. And with the confirmed number of U.S. cases alone topping 50,000 and death toll just under 700 — with no slow down in sight — would Trump call for a federal quarantine?

Let’s analyze where things stand and make a pick.

“It’s the Economy, Stupid”

At first glance, there’s no way POTUS makes this call for one reason — the economy. During a nearly two-hour coronavirus briefing Monday, Trump’s stance was clear.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” he said. “America will again and soon be open for business, If it were up to the doctors, they’d say let’s shut down the entire world, This could create a much bigger problem than the problem that you started out with.”

Of course, “again” and “soon” are arbitrary figures of speech devoid of actual fact behind them. The one thing President Trump has been able to hang his MAGA hat during his three-plus years in office has been the general health of the U.S. economy. But now that that is in shambles due to a global pandemic his administration has been let’s just say less-than-swift to react to, he’s scrambling for answers.

He even busted off his tried and true, Charlie Sheen-esque rhetoric in the face of dire circumstances, adding, “This is going away. We’re going to win the battle.” How exactly remains the question. It seems this President values money over lives.

Experts Weighing In

Trump’s brazen stance might change in the coming days however if his advisers tell him a mandatory national quarantine is the only true way to “win.”

India’s Prime Minister just put the nation of 1.3 billion on a three-week lockdown. And Trump’s political ally, Boris Johnson, shut the United Kingdom down Monday night. All this while there’s cautious optimism in Italy as the infection has appeared to slow — after that nation shuttered two weeks ago — and Wuhan, the original epicenter of COVID-19 — will have its lockdown lifted in April.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, who has become something of a folk hero during this international crisis, was conspicuously absent from both the town hall and Monday’s White House press briefing. Fauci’s public commentary has contradicted Trump’s upbeat outlook.

And both Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator on the White House Coronavirus Task Force and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, made clear in Tuesday’s town hall that they were not ready to endorse Trump’s Easter deadline.

Trump has been loathe to cave to advisers on all fronts during his presidency. But he has deferred to medical experts up until the outbreak, when his old habits have creeped in. Maybe he backtracks and realizes this short-term sacrifice — on medical advice — means a long-term victory for humanity.

State(s) of Confusion

Ultimately, while Trump has generally deferred to medical advisers, he’s also deferred to state leaders to make their own calls on shutdowns — so far. At least 22 governors (with more likely) have done the President’s dirty work for him.

And as state after state, red and blue, continue to shut down, there’s simply no need for Trump to make the call. He’s even suggested the economic contraction caused by restrictions on commerce and travel to prevent spread of COVID-19 could lead to large-scale fatalities from suicide — “probably more death from that than anything we’re talking about with respect to the virus,” he said. Yes, the President of the United States said that.

This President is too proud to follow the leader of over global leaders. Especially when he has state leaders doing it for him

My pick: No National Mandatory Quarantine (-105)

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