WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is determined to ease coronavirus restrictions on most Americans by the Easter holiday — auspicious timing for his evangelical base and business allies but a worrisome deadline for public health experts shaping the U.S. response to a still mushrooming outbreak.
Trump’s impatience to get everyone back to work set in almost immediately after he urged everyone to stay home — touched off as he watched a sermon delivered by a prominent evangelical preacher to an empty megachurch. It gained momentum as Trump listened to advice from conservative economists who warned of near-apocalyptic financial damage, a view reinforced by a free-fall in markets.
And it coalesced around a single day, among the most sacred in the Christian calendar — Easter Sunday, April 12 — for reasons more symbolic than scientific after a key meeting headed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner just four days after the stay-at-home advice.
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