Donald Trump announced he is considering clamping down on domestic air travel – especially flights between cities hit hardest by coronavirus – but he made clear he opposes issuing a national stay-at-home order amid the pandemic outbreak.
The president said he and his administration are “thinking about doing that” and “looking at hotspots” when asked if he might order flights from cities like New York City and Detroit, which have large numbers of coronavirus cases.
Still, he did appear hesitant, saying: “To start these airlines again is very tough.”
But, as always, he left himself ample wiggle room, saying “I’m certainly looking at it.”
As he often does, Mr Trump toggled back-and-forth between his options on live national television during one of the daily Covid-19 briefings he has bragged gets large ratings.
“But once you do that, you’re really clamping down an industry that’s desperately needed,” he said of the American airline sector.
The vacillations, however, continued when the president went back to saying he is “very strongly” considering it.
Asked about potential health care system changes to help the uninsured pay for possible Covid-19 treatments, Mr Trump teased Vice President Mike Pence for talking “for five minutes” without “touching” a reporter’s question. He then told that journalist his administration is “looking at it.”
Frequently during the outbreak, the president or one of his senior aides has said they are examining an option when it is raised by a reporter, lawmaker or public health expert.