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Donald Trump's special day

March 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The President talked of reopening the country by Easter, which he called a "very special day." But public health officials stressed that America was in for a longer period of enforced isolation, saying the April 12 target was "aspirational." And on Sunday, Trump extended the social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

(CNN)When Donald Trump was growing up in the New York of the 1950s, Easter was a grand civic festival as well as a religious holiday.

"Hats were large, small, sensible, silly, be-flowered, tailored, and of virtually every hue ever conceived by nature or man," wrote Edith Evans Asbury in the New York Times.

"What a great timeline this would be. " But by week's end, the word out of the White House was that the Easter target for relaxing restrictions was "aspirational. " Public health officials stressed that America was in for a longer period of enforced isolation — with the streets of New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak, likely to remain jarringly empty for weeks.

On Sunday, Trump dropped the Easter target and extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

"Americans are suffering and dying because the Trump administration failed to act quickly and decisively to prevent the virus' spread," he wrote.

Trump's relatively upbeat outlook on the crisis contrasted with the approach taken by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose daily briefings have become must-watch TV for many.

"Cuomo has, in his own thudding rhetorical style, consistently sounded the alarm about the virus' metastasizing toll, while also playing up the need for resolve," wrote John Philp.

Trump's eagerness to get back to business is understandable but the timing is premature, wrote Frida Ghitis: "The stakes are enormous, not just for him personally and politically — this is after all an election year — but for everyone in the country.

"If the Trump administration really closed the whole country down for many weeks to suppress the virus, the resulting depression could rival the Great Depression. "

In the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen wrote, "over time, as we get a handle on the outbreak, we need to start adjusting our decision-making to balance risk with the massive toll the lockdown is taking on the American people.

In a crisis, Americans often rally around their President, and Trump is seeing some of that in the polls, wrote Scott Jennings: "People are giving the President some latitude here.

Americans were caught off guard by this virus and don't blame Trump for its arrival at our borders.

New York's hospitals were hit with a wave of patients suffering from coronavirus.

If the federal government "commits the resources needed to battle the virus in New York, it could create an effective and lifesaving road map for other cities and communities that face a major outbreak in the weeks that follow," wrote Dean Obeidallah.

"This helps all Americans, not just New Yorkers. "

Marcelo Geisler, the 2019 Templeton Prize winner, wrote, "We now face a global enemy, one that doesn't identify its targets by religious, racial, gender or political choice; a virus doesn't care about maps and boundaries.

Congress passed and the President signed the largest economic rescue bill in American history, and many said it was only the beginning of what will be needed before the crisis ends.

Most American adults will get $1,200 checks to help get them through the crisis, but undocumented immigrants who pay taxes will be excluded.

The stimulus bill included lots of money to help Americans who've been laid off and others whose jobs may be at risk.

"How about we first get money to hospitals, community health centers, doctors, nurses, manufacturers of masks, gloves, hospital beds, ventilators, Covid-19 tests, breakthrough treatments, and training so that more people can learn to safely assist the health professionals, many of whom are already overwhelmed — and then deal with the bailouts for companies and non-profits later?

McCaffery: "While health care workers and local governments frantically race against the clock to keep up with the escalating medical caseloads while trying to keep themselves and their families safe, Congress was still able to find the time to give money away to rich people. "

As Women's History Month ends during an extraordinary health crisis, it's worth remembering Clara Barton, who nursed the wounded on Civil War battlefields and founded the American Red Cross.

Albright was one of a host of prominent American women whose views on history's trailblazers were curated by Marianne Schnall in a special report for CNN Opinion, edited by Jane Greenway Carr.

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